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Read Bill Belichick’s statement in declining the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick.Ashley Landis/Associated Press

Patriots coach Bill Belichick was nominated to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Trump. On Monday night, he declined the honor in a statement. Read it below:

“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,” the coach wrote.

“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.

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“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 people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”