A day after a White House official confirmed to the Globe that President Donald Trump plans to award Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom before Trump leaves office, Massachusetts leaders are calling for the Patriots head coach to decline the invitation.
The U.S. House of Representatives introduced an article of impeachment against Trump on Monday, charging him with incitement of insurrection in the wake of last week’s deadly riot at the Capitol.
Sen. Ed Markey told Boston Public Radio that he thought it would be in poor taste for Belichick to accept the invitation to the ceremony, which could be held on Thursday – the same day the House could vote to impeach.
“He should just say no,” Markey said. “That could be the day that Donald Trump is being impeached in the United States House of Representatives for inciting an insurgency against the United States.”
“So, Bill Belichick is the greatest football coach of all time. But on the Thursday of the week in which Donald Trump is going to be impeached, that is not the right day to be accepting a Medal of Freedom award.”
Rep. Jim McGovern, whose district represents a swath of the central and western part of the state, told CNN that he also thinks Belichick should decline the award.
“I would refuse it if I were Bill Belichick,” McGovern said. “This president has made a mockery of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Look who he’s given it to in the last week: Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan. I mean, please.
“Bill Belichick should do the right thing and say. ‘no thanks.’ ”
When asked how he would feel if Belichick did accept, McGovern said, “I’ll be very disappointed, to be honest with you. This president is not fit to be in office, so anything he would bestow on anybody is meaningless, and to accept it is disgraceful.”
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey also weighed in on Twitter, saying she hopes Belichick declines.
“At a time when so many athletes are standing up for what’s right, I hope Bill Belichick will reject this award,” she wrote.