Much has changed since Bill Belichick was offered the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Multiple reports indicate United States President Donald Trump intends to present Belichick on Thursday with the country’s highest civilian honor. In the wake of last Wednesday’s riots at the United States Capitol, many are calling for the New England Patriots head coach to decline the offer or, at the very least, neglect to appear alongside Trump.
It’s unclear whether Belichick has accepted the offer. Further complicating matters is that, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the offer was extended before the events at the U.S. Capitol.
From his column published Monday morning:
Now that the word is out that Patriots coach Bill Belichick is scheduled to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Thursday, the question is whether he’ll go through with it?
Per a source with knowledge of the dynamics, the offer was extended before last Wednesday’s events, and Belichick very much wants to accept it. He believes it’s a great honor.
Whether the timeline should affect Belichick’s decision is for him to decide. Of course, some will insist the face of the Patriots never should have accepted Trump’s offer in the first place. The matter likely will remain a subject of debate long after whatever does or doesn’t happen Thursday in Washington D.C.
Belichick has a relatively noteworthy relationship with Trump. He wrote the then-presidential candidate a letter before the 2016 election — a letter that was read to a crowd in New Hampshire. In December, the 68-year-old, along with many prominent sports figures, was named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.
Whether Belichick has changed his stance on Trump since 2016 remains unclear.