Patriots coach Bill Belichick declines President Trump's Medal of Freedom

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By WEEI 93.7

On Sunday, it was reported President Donald Trump would be awarding Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor.

It was widely speculated whether he would accept, and Monday night we learned he will not.

Belichick released a statement via ESPN's Adam Schefter saying he will not move forward with the award following the events of last week, as well as "remaining true to the people, team and country I love."

The Patriots coach has supported Trump in the past, including writing him a letter prior to the 2016 election. He also serves on the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

Here is the full statement.

"Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients," it says. "Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy.

"I know I also represent my family, and the New England Patriots team. One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice , equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team, country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."

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