Massachusetts Rep. says Belichick accepting honor from president would be ‘disgraceful’

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Barry Werner
·2 min read
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The New England Patriots find themselves in the midst of a controversy. Nothing new about that during the playoffs, except they aren’t in the NFL postseason.

This one stems from news Head Coach Bill Belichick has been tapped to receive the Presidential Medal of Honor later this week from President Donald Trump. Thus far no word from the coach on his decision.

Given the storm around the president, Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern says accepting it would be “disgraceful.”

“I would refuse it, if I were Bill Belichick,” McGovern said during an interview with CNN on Monday morning. “This president has made a mockery of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Look at who he has given it to in the last weeks, people like Devin Nunes and Jim Jordan. I mean, please, Bill Belichick should do the right thing and say ‘no thanks.’

“This president is not fit to be in office, so anything that he would bestow on anybody can be as meaningless and to accept it is disgraceful.”

The Boston Globe posted a column by Tara Sullivan echoing the sentiment.

Wrote Sullivan:

Don’t do it.

Don’t go to Washington, D.C., this week and accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Say “thank you” to the White House and to President Donald Trump for the honor, and then politely decline. …

This single act of personal pride could cost him his locker room.

As risky as it would be under any circumstance for Belichick to stand for a photo op with the same president who has drawn so many verbal battle lines with the NFL we’ve lost count and whose most infamous line called those who dared kneel during the national anthem “sons of bitches” who should be “fired,” he probably could get away with it.

But to do so in the wake of last week’s attack on the Capitol would be a complete slap in the face to his team, to his players, to his league, to his franchise, to everyone horrified by the insurrection and the role Trump played in inciting it.

Sullivan implored Belichick in closing the column:

The Patriots are already the most hated franchise in the world. If this happens, even the locals will abandon them too.

Don’t do it.

What do you think? Accept or politely decline given the circumstances?