Patriots' coach spurns medal from Trump

Sports | ASSOCIATED PRESS 13 Jan 2021

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick will not accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying "remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.''

In a delicately worded statement, the six-time NFL Super Bowl-winning coach did not say explicitly that he had turned down the offer from President Donald Trump, whom he has called a friend. Instead, Belichick explained, "the decision has been made not to move forward with the award'' in the wake of last week's deadly siege by Trump supporters on the US Capitol.

A White House official earlier said that Trump would be awarding Belichick, 68, the nation's highest civilian honor - part of a late flurry of presentations that also included golfers Annika Sorenstam, Gary Player and the late Babe Zaharias.

Sorenstam and Player accepted their awards in a private ceremony the day after the Capitol siege.

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