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By Stewart Perrie
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has decided not to accept Donald Trump's Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The President wanted to bestow the NFL icon with one of the highest civilian honours for his career that has spanned 46 seasons, 21 of which were with the Patriots.
However, after riots at Capitol in Washington D.C. last week, Belichick doesn't feel comfortable being given the award from Trump.
He said in a statement: "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.
"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.
"Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."
The Presidential Medal of Freedom was introduced in 1963 by John F. Kennedy. It was a way of recognising and celebrating people who have made 'exceptional contributions to the security of national interests of America, to world peace or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours'.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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