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Football coach Bill Belichick will not be accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Belichick's statement says that "the decision has been made not to move forward with the award." 

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Bill Belichick in 2015
Bill Belichick in 2015
(Elsa/Getty Images)
Updated: January 11, 2021 - 8:50pm

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New England Patriots football coach Bill Belichick has released a statement indicating that he will not be accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The statement says that "the decision has been made not to move forward with the award." 

“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," his statement says. 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.

"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," the statement also says. "Continuing those efforts while remain true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”