Bill Belichick turns down Medal of Freedom from Trump

Bill Belichick turns down Medal of Freedom from Trump

Donald Trump wanted to award the Patriots coach the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Belichick has declined, per a statement issued to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Belichick utoza New England Patriots avuga ko bwa mbere yumvise ari icyubahiro abwiwe ko yahabwa uwo mugari - ni wo w'ikirenga uhabwa abasivili b'indashyikirwa muri Amerika. The coach stated, "Above all, I am an American citizen", and he referenced 2020 conversations with his players about "social justice, equality and human rights".

"Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award", Belichick said.

The Medal of Freedom ceremony follows another event last Thursday - one day after the violent attack on the Capitol - in which the president awarded the medal, which is the nation's highest civilian honor.

Belichick has said he has a friendship with Trump that "goes back many years".

President Donald Trump on Monday awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of the outgoing president's fiercest GOP allies.

Although he describes himself as apolitical, Belichick wrote Trump a letter during the 2016 presidential campaign that the candidate read aloud at a rally in the days before the election.

The president recently re-appointed Belichick to the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition last month.

Belichick also wore an Armenian flag pin to the White House in 2015 when the team celebrated its fourth Super Bowl victory - believed to be a sign of support for the team's director of football, Berj Najarian, who is of Armenian descent.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom, established by President John F. Kennedy, is meant to recognize those who have made an "especially meritorious contribution" to national security, world peace or "cultural or other significant public or private endeavors".

His rejection of the honour comes as politicians from Belichick's state of MA called for him to turn it down. "This president is not fit to be in office so anything that he would bestow on anybody to me is meaningless and to accept it is disgraceful".

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