Bill Belichick is distancing himself from Trump as well as burnishing his legacy. The New England Patriots’s Head Coach, who led the team to the SuperBowl 9 times and won 6 of those, has rejected President Trump’s award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
From his statement in the Boston Globe,
“Though flattered, Belichick cited last week’s attack on the US Capitol and his team-first philosophies for not accepting the award, which is considered the highest civilian honor in the United States.
“ ‘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,’ the coach wrote.
“ ‘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.’ ”
BREAKING: Patriots coach Bill Belichick declines Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump https://t.co/wCzX8rEyVR
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 12, 2021
For five years, Belichick has been a staunch Trump supporter, contributing to the President’s 2016 campaign, and twice visiting the White House with his SuperBowl winning team. With this action, Belichick has effectively distanced himself, joining the “blame Trump for the Capitol violence” camp.
But as men of his age often do, he is also working to secure his legacy. Such as it is….
As the Guardian points out,
“Belichick’s Patriots, after all, have been at the center of two high-profile cheating scandals. Most notoriously, there was 2007’s Spygate in which the Patriots were penalized for illegally taping their opponents’ signals, followed by 2015’s Deflategate. The latter was a decidedly silly affair, one which Belichick claimed complete ignorance of, but it added fuel to the fire to those who would put an asterisk next to the entirety of the Brady-Belichick era Pats. How much the Patriots have benefited from these incidents remains an open question, but Belichick’s coaching strategy clearly has involved – to some extent – playing fast and loose with the rules.”
So Belichick’s reputation as a dishonest broker, coupled with his not-so-sterling personality, has done much to tarnish what would be considered a remarkable coaching career. This dissing of Trump has helped to knock some of that tarnish off and has cemented him a new place among the woke bastion of professional sports.
Are you who sing Bill Belichick made a personal insult to Trump are dead wrong. Bill is just like Trump he's a millionaire and a Republican. All he's doing is protecting his future his money and his neck
— Matt 😊 (@Matthew15980620) January 12, 2021
Belichick referenced his “Born Again Woke” bonafides in his statement:
“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 people, team, and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award.”
So while Belichick rejects the violence of last Wednesday because his great reverence for our Nation’s “values, freedoms, and democracy”, he embraces a social justice grift that seeks to tear down those very freedoms and democratic process he claims to reverence.
It’s the worst form of virtue-signaling, and I suspect he probably doesn’t mean a word of it. The whole statement reads like a hostage video. However, Belichick sealed his place in history as a sports legend who stood up and rejected Trump, rather than a taciturn old man who attained legendary status, but sometimes cheated in order to get there.