Bill Belichick will not be accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald J. Trump.
Trump reportedly planned to award the nation's highest civilian honor to the New England Patriots head coach this week.
Belichick declined in a statement released Monday night, via ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Here is Belichick's statement in full:
"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. 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. 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 the people, team and country I love outweigh the benefits of any individual award."