The head coach of the New England Patriots announced Monday that he will not be accepting the Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump.
“Patriots’ HC Bill Belichick will not be traveling to Washington nor accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he announced today,” reported ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Belichick said in a statement that he was “flattered” by the opportunity, but had to decline in light of the “tragic events of last week,” referencing the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
“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,” the statement started. “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,” Belichick said. “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 and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award,” the coach concluded.
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
“Trump and Belichick have a friendship that the president publicized on the eve of the 2016 election,” Mass Live noted Sunday. “At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Trump said Belichick had written him a letter and recited its contents on stage.”
The letter read as follows, according to the news site:
Congratulations on a tremendous campaign. You have dealt with an unbelievable slanted and negative media, and have come out beautifully — beautifully. You’ve proved to be the ultimate competitor and fighter. Your leadership is amazing. I have always had tremendous respect for you, but the toughness and perseverance you have displayed over the past year is remarkable. Hopefully tomorrow’s election results will give the opportunity to make America great again. Best wishes for great results tomorrow.
Democrats moved to impeach President Trump in reaction to the breach, claiming POTUS “willfully” “encouraged” and “incited” the “insurrection.”
House Democrats released the article of impeachment Monday that they will file against the president, The Daily Wire reported.
Trump “willfully made statements that encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — imminent lawless action at the Capitol,” the article of impeachment states. “Incited by President Trump, a mob unlawfully breached the Capitol, injured law enforcement personnel, interfered with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the election results, and engaged in violent, deadly, destructive, and seditious acts.”
“We’re going to walk down to the Capitol — and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said at the “Save America Rally” that preceded the riot at the Capitol, as reported by ABC News. “Because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong.”
“We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated,” he claimed. “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump added. “Today, we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections.”
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