President Trump’s plan to give Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots, the Presidential Medal of Freedom has raised questions about whether Belichick will accept the award after the riots on Capitol Hill.
There were calls for Belichick to decline the award, including Monday from Rep. Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts, who called accepting the award “shameful.”
“Bill Belichick should do the right thing and say” No thanks ” he said CNN.
Mr. Trump, who is leaving office in less than two weeks, has long been associated with the Patriots. Prior to being elected in 2016, he regularly attended the team’s home games as a guest of Robert K. Kraft, owner of the Patriots. Belichick publicly supported the president when he ran for office and even wrote a letter to the president, who read it aloud at a campaign rally just before election day. Former team quarterback Tom Brady played golf with Trump and had a campaign cap in his locker.
But Trump’s division has repeatedly put the Patriots in a sticky position, particularly in 2017, when the president repeatedly criticized the NFL and its owners for failing to fire players who knelt while playing. the national anthem to protest against social injustice and police brutality.
The team accepted an invitation to visit the White House in 2017 after winning the Super Bowl, but before the president attacked the league. Two years later, after the Patriots won another title and many players publicly opposed the president, they did not make the trip to Washington due to what they said were scheduling conflicts. .
The team did not respond to a request for comment.