The top coach of the National Football League (NFL), Bill Belichick, refused to accept the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civic honor in the United States, citing the fatal riots that took place on Capitol Hill last week.
The six-time Super Bowl champion coach said that after President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol Building, he changed his mind, ransacked the office and left a threatening message.
“First of all, I am an American citizen and have a high respect for our country’s values, freedom and democracy,” Bericick said in a statement issued on Monday, adding that he represents his family and New England patriotism. The team.
The coach has previously said that he is very happy to receive the medal. He said that he will continue to work for social justice, equality and human rights, while continuing to be loyal to the people, team and country I love, any individual awards.”
Critics accused Trump of causing the worst violence in the Capitol in more than two centuries. Five people died in the attack.
Four days after the riots, a White House official said on Sunday that Trump would award the Belichick Medal-part of the evening speech, which also included golfer Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias.
The day after the violence in Washington, D.C., Sorenstam and Player accepted the award in a private ceremony.
The decision of Berishick, who has always supported Trump in the past, is another blow to the increasingly isolated US president. Due to the violence on Wednesday, several of his senior advisers have resigned in recent days.
The news of Belichick’s refusal to receive the Medal of Freedom caused positive responses on social media.
Congratulations, Bill Belichick. You did the right thing,” Bob Ryan, an honorary sports columnist for the Boston Globe, wrote on Twitter.
Congratulations, Bill Belichick. You got it right.
-Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) January 12, 2021
Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern (Jim McGovern) previously urged Belichick to reject the award and welcomed it.
“This president is not suitable for office, so anything he grants to anyone is meaningless. Thank you, coach Belichick for refusing to accept Trump’s award,” the senator said on Twitter.
This president is not suitable for office, so anything he wants to grant to anyone is meaningless.
Thank you Coach Belichick for rejecting Trump’s award. https://t.co/qyxWJT5VAd
-Representative Jim McGovern (@RepMcGovern) January 12, 2021
Although Belichick claims to be a non-political figure, he occasionally gets involved in politics.
In 2016, Trump read a glowing letter from Belichick during the campaign, in which the coach praised his courage and leadership. Although Trump stated that this letter expresses “the greatest wishes for great achievements” on election day and “has a chance to make America great again”, Berchik stated that this is only to support a friend.
The coach’s support for Trump has been criticized by some fans, but it does not seem to affect his status in the locker room and players. Patriots owner Robert Kraft is also very friendly to Trump.
The President of the United States fought a long-term battle with the National Football League (NFL) to compete for players who kneeled on the ground during the national anthem. This posture was originally adopted by some black players to protest race in the criminal justice system difference. Trump called on the league to ban players from “kneeling” in protest.
Tensions between team players and the president have surfaced on various occasions, including in 2019, the Patriots did not participate in the regular White House events to celebrate the Super Bowl victory due to conflicting schedules.
After the death of George Floyd this summer, Patriots players praised Belichick for providing them with an open forum to express their feelings about American racial and social injustice.