Sports | January 11, 2021 11:02 am

Donald Trump to Honor Bill Belichick With the Presidential Medal of Freedom

The New England Patriots coach is set to receive one of the nation’s highest civilian honors

Donald Trump to Honor Bill Belichick With the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots.
Getty Images

With his stint in the Oval Office coming to an end, President Donald Trump is using the time he has left to take advantage of his remaining presidential powers.

That being the case, Trump plans to award New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, according to Politico.

The medal is awarded to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Recent recipients of the award include Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Gary Player and Annika Sörenstam.

Belichick, the only coach to win six Super Bowl titles, penned a letter of support for Trump in 2016 that the president read from at an election night rally in New Hampshire prior to his victory at the polls over Hillary Clinton. Afterward, Belichick said he was not a political person and that he had “a friendship and loyalty to Donald.”

“He’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner,” Trump said of Belichick during an August radio interview. “You know, if I ever had a military battle, I’d call up Belichick and say what do you think? What do you think? Give me a couple of ideas.”

As of now, neither Belichick nor the Patriots have commented about the 68-year-old coach receiving the nation’s highest civilian honor.

But, for myriad reasons including the effect it may have on his locker room as well as the scrutiny it would bring the Patriots organization, Belichick would likely be wise to decline the trip to the White House to accept the honor, if not turn down the award outright.

For a coach who preaches minimizing distractions, going to accept the award from Trump this week will simply create headaches and issues that will linger long after the 45th president is out of office.

The 2018 Super Bowl champion Patriots didn’t go to the White House to meet with President Trump because it just wasn’t worth the trouble, and the same logic applies here.