New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick rebuffs Trump’s offer of Presidential Medal of Freedom

Belichick backed off due to the riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol building last week.

By World Israel News Staff

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was set to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the White House announced earlier this week. Now Belichick says he doesn’t want it, at least not from President Donald Trump.

The medal, one of the nation’s highest civilian honors, was to be given to Belichick, the only coach to win six Super Bowl titles, at a ceremony on Thursday.

Belichick backed off due to the riot by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol building last week.

“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,” Belichick said in a statement.

“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.”

Trump and Belichick have known each other for several years. Trump, before his campaign victory in 2016, reading a letter of praise from Belichick at a New Hampshire rally. Belichick said afterward he was not a political person and that he had “a friendship and loyalty to Donald.”

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Trump has been marginalized and abandoned by a number of staff following the riot, including three cabinet-level officials, most recently Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos resigned last week.

House Democrats are moving forward with impeaching Trump, a controversial move which some Republicans warn will further divide the country.

The New England Patriots are owned by Robert Kraft, who bought them for $172 million in 1994. Kraft received the 2019 Genesis Prize, dubbed “the Jewish Nobel” by Time Magazine.

AP contributed to this report.