Will Bill Belichick go through with the Medal of Freedom ceremony?

USA TODAY Sports

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.

The problem is that the circumstances undermine the honor and create needless controversy. The president bestowing the honor is more than a lame duck; he’s a wounded squirrel scurrying for any and all political nuts he can jam into a tree that currently is being loudly chainsawed.

Belichick, an unquestionable genius of a coach, risks creating a major problem for himself and for the Patriots by cozying up to a president who has gone in less than a week from being polarizing to pariah. Yes, he still has a group of ardent Fifth-Avenue-shootout supporters. But the pendulum has swung sharply against Donald Trump, and many will be upset with Belichick if he goes through with it.

Belichick doesn’t seem like the type who cares. Perhaps he should. With cap money to burn in 2021, the Patriots will be in position to pursue plenty of free agents. Will some of those free agents not want to play for him after Thursday?

Then there’s the question of whether Patriots fans will remain loyal to a man who may be on the front end of a multi-year absence from the playoffs. Whatever the grace period is for consecutive non-postseason appearances after six Super Bowl wins in 18 years, it becomes shorter if half (or more) of the fan base decides that they’re done with Belichick for participating in this week’s publicity stunt that seems more like a reward for loyalty than a fair and objective recognition of a lifetime of significant achievements.

This makes it an issue not only for Belichick but also for the Patriots. The team surely wishes that he wouldn’t do it. Surely, we’ll soon know with certainty whether he will.

If he does, it could mark the beginning of the end for Belichick in New England.

27 responses to “Will Bill Belichick go through with the Medal of Freedom ceremony?

  1. His “genius” isn’t unquestionable. He’s won nothing with Bernie Kosar, Drew Bledsoe, Matt Cassel and Cam Newtown/Stidham as his qb. Mumbling at the media does not a genius make. You may not question it, but I do. If he goes through with this his idiocy will be unquestioned.

  2. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States to recognize people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

    Interesting that over half of this president’s awardees have been sports figures. Some IMO are worthy, given the official description above. Others, I’m not sure of.

  3. Pats fan for 40+ years. If he accepts this, I’m done until he’s gone. If Kraft keeps him on then I’m done for good. I don’t give a damn what he’s done for the team, this goes way beyond that.

  4. If he accepts this I am done with him. I love Belichick but this is just a slap in the face of democracy.

  5. I really hope Bill passes on this. As a huge Pats fan since I moved to Boston in ’86 I will be done for good (Kraft allowing him to go, by not threatening to fire him for going would be the same thing for me). I’ve already emailed Stacey James over this voicing the same thoughts. Don’t do it Bill, don’t put the fans through this, it would be heart breaking for many of us.

  6. If this is indeed the definition for recipients…

    “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States to recognize people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

    …then too many sports figures have received this. Belichick is one of the best football coaches ever. But has he really changed our society in a remarkable way? I mean, figures like Jackie Robinson should get this medal. People who transcend their sport. Not just for people who are good at their sport.

  7. If some idiot free agent doesn’t want to play for Belichick simply because he received a medal from the President of the United States, they deserve to go play for the Jets or Lions instead.

  8. Don’t let these peeps talk you out of accepting it.

    The only thing that matters is … do YOU think you deserve it? That you EARNED it? If yes, grab it. Nothing else matters.

  9. dsigrey says:
    January 11, 2021 at 11:26 am
    Pats fan for 40+ years. If he accepts this, I’m done until he’s gone. If Kraft keeps him on then I’m done for good. I don’t give a damn what he’s done for the team, this goes way beyond that.

    Imagine being so arrogant, a coach can win you 6 super bowls, and you throw him aside over accepting an honor.

  10. Past winners include Ellen Degeneres, Oprah ,and Bill Cosby.

    Sports figures have received it over the years and Bill deserves it. It shouldn’t matter who the POTUS is. He is deserving as anyone in sport of the honor.

    Now if the award was for his contributions in player personnel over the last 5 years, I can understand the outrage

  11. I don’t think the value of the Presidential Medal of Freedom is questioned, it who is giving it that’s the issue.

  12. Six Super Bowl rings for New England, yes, but what has he done lately for the New Jersey Generals?

  13. avpackfan says:
    January 11, 2021 at 11:25 am
    The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States to recognize people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

    Interesting that over half of this president’s awardees have been sports figures. Some IMO are worthy, given the official description above. Others, I’m not sure of.
    ————————————————————-

    I’m a huge Notre Dame fan, and I absolutely think Lou Holtz getting it was ridiculous. He was a college coach. And that’s great. But it should be for someone for outstanding contributions to the country—not because you won a national championship for one school. And definitely not because you spoke at that President’s political convention. It cheapens the award.

    Sports have their own awards and honors. Let them take care of their own.

  14. It is the highest national award for a civilian. But honestly, I don’t think he would have to wait too long before being called again, if he declines.

  15. When you give an award to a person who doesn’t deserve it, it dilutes the award and renders it meaningless. When just one person decides who is to receive it, and the recipients are all friends and supporters, it’s just like getting a fruit basket with a card “Thanks for being there for me”. I’m not a Belichick fan but I applaud his decision here.

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