By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick will not travel to Washington, nor will he accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump. Belichick confirmed in a statement Monday.
“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. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award," Belichick's statement read. "Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. 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 68-year-old Belichick, who was appointed to Trump's Sports & Fitness Council in 2018, was credited countless times in 2020 for taking a more hands-on approach when it came to learning about social justice initiatives and sparking change. He credited longtime Patriots captain Devin McCourty for inspiring him to do so.
Belichick's decision comes on the heels of last week's violent riots and storming of Washington's Capitol Building, which left a Capitol police officer dead, and resulted in five deaths.
On Monday, House Democrats announced their plans to vote to impeach Trump on Wednesday morning, citing "incitement of insurrection" as their charge against the president, who has less than two weeks remaining in his term. The House will also hold a Tuesday vote on a resolution that urges Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, according to reports.