New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will not accept President Trump’s award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he announced in a statement Monday.
How dishonorable do you have to be when even Bill Belichick thinks you're bending the rules too far to try to win? 🙂 https://t.co/bXX2fH28Qj
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 12, 2021
The statement, first announced by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, comes after media reports on Sunday that Trump had invited the six-time Super Bowl winner to the White House to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick will not be traveling to Washington nor accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he announced today. pic.twitter.com/uvLLigFlHU
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 12, 2021
“The tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award,” Belichick wrote in the statement. The coach and the president are longtime friends, with the former writing a congratulatory note to the latter after his 2016 election.
Belichick’s public break with Trump comes on the heels of several companies freezing the president out after he helped incite a riot in the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.