Mike Florio posed a question on PFT earlier today: How should Bill Belichick’s decision to decline the Presidential Medal of Freedom be received?
Hall of Fame golfers Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player accepted the same honor from President Trump at the White House last week, a day after the deadly riot at the Capitol. Belichick was supposed to receive his this Thursday.
The Patriots coach released a carefully worded statement Monday, declining.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith praised both the decision and the statement.
“Bill and I don’t share a lot of words,” Smith said in a videoconference Tuesday. “I know that’s going to come as a shock to everybody. But I thought that certainly his position was, I think, extremely important at this moment for a person who has an extremely high profile in the National Football League. Frankly, I thought his statement was spot on. He referenced standing with the players, referenced the conversations that were going on in his locker room about social justice, and while he recognized that it was an award that has honored a number of extremely deserving people in the past, he felt that at this time, at this moment in history that he should decline. I thought his statement was spot on.”