NFL fans have expressed their disapproval of Donald Trump’s plans to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, citing the Trump-inspired riot last week at the U.S. Capitol as the reason .
Six-time Super Bowl winner Belichick had an unusually subpar season this season as his team struggled with the loss of legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who, like many Americans of his age group, opted for a sunnier switch to Tampa Bay Fields before retiring – if and when that day will ever come.
But as Belichick ponders the strange underperformance of the Patriots in the press during this tenure, Belichick is now facing a whole new wave of criticism from the liberal public in Massachusetts after reports surfaced that he received the President’s Medal of Honor from Donald Trump to receive week – the highest civil honor available to American citizens.
The Boston Brouhaha stems from Trump’s perceived role in sparking the riot last week in the U.S. Capitol, in which several people, including a police officer, were killed. The electoral system, which is said to have been largely run by Trump.
Last week, Swedish women’s golf star Annika Sorenstam and South African Gary Player received heavy criticism after accepting similar awards at the White House in the days following the DC Fracas on Wednesday.
If Belichick accepts, he should be kicked out of the @NFL
– Senator Santa Maria (@briansantamaria) January 10, 2021
Is there any greater shame than receiving an honor from a con man about to take office for a second time for sedition and countless charges awaiting? Who would accept such an award?
– Christina Lutz @ (@ ChristinaLutz17) January 10, 2021
I’ve been a Pats fan for a long time, but if Belichick accepts this medal that Trump handed out like party favors, I’ll be done. Sorry team, but that would be a bridge too far.
– Kathy Burns (@ kaybee4x4) January 11, 2021
The relationship between Trump and Belichick and the patriot owner Robert Kraft goes back a long way. Belichick described himself as “having a friendship and loyalty to Donald” during the 2016 presidential campaign, while Kraft was also seen at several official Trump events and ceremonies during his tenure.
The situation of Belichick’s honors as president is compounded by Trump’s aggressive stance on the wave of protests popularized by former 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Since then, Trump has been a vocal opponent of the rights of NFL players to protest on the sidelines while playing the U.S. national anthem – criticism many NFL fans say is in stark contrast to the way the waves of protesters treated Washington DC were last week.
And in New England the temperature seems to be rising. Monday’s Boston Globe featured a front page titled “Don’t go,” a sentiment that, according to Twitter, appears to have been largely endorsed by at least the New England sports public.
Trump plans to award the Medal of Freedom to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. No damn way is acceptable. Belichick has a responsibility not to accept this. The patriots have a responsibility to fire him if he does so. They will form a boycott if necessary.
– Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) January 11, 2021
Whether or not this can appropriately be termed “lingerie” remains to be seen, but Trump has spoken several times on the file to express his admiration for Belichick.
“You know, if I ever had a military battle, I would call Belichick and say, ‘What do you think? What do you think? Give me some ideas,” jokes Trump of Belichick, who is from a military background on the Hugh Hewitt Show last year.
“He would be as good as any general out there.
“I’m telling you Belichick is an amazing coach and I think he’s going to do really well. This guy just knows how to win. And he’s a very good friend of mine. He’s a winner.”
Those of us who are superstitious might view Trump’s above comments as a curse as Belichick ended the NFL season with a 7-9 loss record – the first time since 2000 that the team won 10 AFC East titles in a row had won, had published a negative record for the year.
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Should Belichick bow to public pressure, it would not be the first time a planned event between Trump and figures within the NFL had been canceled at short notice – in 2018, Trump invited the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles to visit the White House after several members of the team had loudly criticized Trump’s anti-protest stance.