New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has decided that he will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that can be given to a civilian by the President of the United States.

The decision to turn down the honor came soon after President Trump announced that he would award the six-time Super Bowl winning coach with the medal. The Associated Press reports that Belichick said Monday that “remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.” Belichick, while not saying specifically that he was turning down the award, said that he would “not move forward” with the award.

“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. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team.” ~ Belichick

 

Belichick had been a supporter of the President. Belichick wrote Trump a letter of support during the 2016 presidential campaign that Trump read aloud at a rally in the days before the election.

The announcement from Trump and the subsequent declination from Belichick came less than a week after protesters, supporting President Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

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In other headlines, the NBA has called off Tuesday's matchup between the Celtics and Bulls in Chicago. The cancellation came one day after the Celtics game with the Miami Heat in Boston was called off because of contact-tracing issues within the Heat. The league also postponed Monday's game in Dallas between the Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans.

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