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"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 wrote, per ESPN.
"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," he continued. "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," Belichick concluded.
With just a few days remaining in office, Trump gave the Medal of Freedom to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, who has sided with him on a number of occasions, most recently being on his baseless election fraud claims. Belichick was expected to be given the once prestigious award on Thursday.
Prior to the 2016 election, Trump read a letter he claimed was written by Belichick, congratulating him on a "tremendous campaign," and hoping that the "election results will give the opportunity to make America great again." Belichick later confirmed that he did write the letter, but would've preferred to be excluded from politics.