Donald Trump wanted to award the Patriots coach the Presidential Medal of Freedom, but following the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Belichick has declined, per a statement issued to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Belichick continued, "Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation's values, freedom and democracy".
Trump announced on Saturday (Sunday NZT) that he would be awarding Belichick the nation's highest civilian honour this week as part of a late flurry of presentations that also included three golfers: Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias.
Belichick utoza New England Patriots avuga ko bwa mbere yumvise ari icyubahiro abwiwe ko yahabwa uwo mugari - ni wo w'ikirenga uhabwa abasivili b'indashyikirwa muri Amerika.
"Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award", Belichick concluded.
In the Patriots' home state of Massachusetts, Trump received only 32% of votes cast in the presidential election in November.
"This president has made a mockery of the Presidential Medal of Freedom", McGovern said.
Trump once read a glowing letter about himself written by Belichick at a campaign rally in New Hampshire prior to his being elected president.
"Bill is on the spot here", said Dan Shaughnessy, a long-time sports columnist for the Boston Globe.
MA congressman Rep. Jim McGovern (D) said during a Monday morning appearance on CNN that Belichick should "refuse" the award. Belichick confirmed in a statement Monday. Patriots owner Bob Kraft is a longtime friend of the president's, as is former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Citing scheduling conflicts, the club did not visit the White House following their win in Super Bowl LIII following the 2018 season. "You know, if I ever had a military battle, I'd call up Belichick and say, 'What do you think?" I think we all benefitted from it, and again, things that we've done this year that will help us going forward.