Patriots coach Bill Belichick won’t accept Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump

Patriots coach Bill Belichick won’t accept Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump”

MA congressman Rep. Jim McGovern (D) said during a Monday morning appearance on CNN that Belichick should "refuse" the award.

In the statement issued Monday night, Belichick said he was "flattered" by the invitation out of respect for what the honor represents.

Belichick continued, "Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy".

"If this story about Bill Belichick accepting a Medal of Freedom from the disgraced occupant of the White House is true, he's dead to me", Bob Ryan, a Boston Globe sports columnist emeritus, wrote on Twitter.

Trump had planned to present Belichick with the Medal of Freedom in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, a White House official confirmed to ABC News earlier on Monday.

Trump has also awarded the honour to political allies and right-wing extremists Rush Limbaugh, Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Devin Nunes, decisions considered by many as an affront to nation's highest civilian honour.

Belichick explained his decision in a statement.

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He cited the riot at the U.S. Capitol as the reason why he was going to decline the offer.

Five people died in the mayhem, including US Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick.

Last week, Trump awarded the Medal of Freedom to Hall of Fame golfers Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player and late Olympian Babe Didrikson, according to The Associated Press.

His rejection of the honour comes as politicians from Belichick's state of MA called for him to turn it down.

He said he represents his team and his family, and he referred to the NFL's controversy about racial justice in the past year. Steve Belichick coached college football for 34 years at Navy. Last month, Belichick called on the USA government to take action against Turkey and Azerbaijan for "unprovoked and violent attacks against Armenians".

As he campaigned the day before the November 8, 2016 election, Trump shared Belichick's letter in a campaign appearance in Manchester, N.H., telling the crowd that Belichick had agreed to this rare glimpse into his personal correspondence. Numerous calls came from officials in MA.

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