There was a time when the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, really meant something. Past presidents have awarded it to national heroes, like President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated while in office, Edward R. Murrow, the journalist who risked his life and freedom to report on the McCarthy hearings, Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights leader, Thurgood Marshall, the Civil Rights attorney who became the first black justice on the Supreme Court, and Nelson Mandela, who endured decades in prison for trying to protect his fellow countrymen.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, has awarded it to an entirely different kind of people. He’s hung that medal around the necks of Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio show host who once called a nine-year-old Chelsea Clinton “ugly” and referred to her as the White House dog, Devil Nunes, a representative who’s been instrumental in protecting Trump from prosecution, and Jim Jordan, apparently just because he’s supported Trump.
BREAKING: Patriots coach Bill Belichick declines Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump https://t.co/wCzX8rEyVR
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) January 12, 2021
One person Trump won’t be giving that medal to is New England Patriots coach Bill Belechick. After the events of Jan. 6, 2021, the coach said that he could not accept the medal from Donald Trump, citing insurrection as a factor in making the decision. Bellichick has been a vocal supporter of the president in the past, but has apparently changed his views after Wednesday.
In a press conference, Bellichick said:
‘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.
Twitter had a lot to add to the conversation, including widespread support of the decision. Read some of their comments below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube