What Bruschi, ex-Patriots thought of Belichick declining Medal of Freedom


When a report surfaced Sunday that President Donald Trump planned to award Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom this week, all eyes turned to the New England Patriots head coach.

On Monday, Belichick spoke.

The Patriots coach said in a statement he would not accept the nation's highest civilian honor, citing an attack on the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday incited by Trump that left five dead.

Belichick's decision resonated with a few of his former players, including linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who won three Super Bowls during 14 seasons in New England.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Adrian Clayborn, who spent the 2018 season with the Patriots and won a Super Bowl with Belichick, also praised his former coach, while ex-tight end Benjamin Watson offered his endorsement with a retweet of Belichick's statement.


Belichick would have been the sixth person in 2021 to receive the Medal of Freedom, which Trump already has awarded to Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Devin Nunes, Jim Jordan, Gary Player and Annika Sörenstam.

By turning down the honor, the Patriots coach seemingly drew reaction from all corners of the country, as government officials, actors and historians joined his former players in tweeting their feelings on his decision.