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New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Photo: Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Monday he will not accept the presidential medal of freedom that President Trump was set to award him following last week's Capitol siege.

Driving the news: Belichick said while he was initially flattered to be offered the award, "the tragic events of last week occurred," and he has decided not to move forward.

  • Belichick faced calls, including from several Democratic lawmakers, to decline the award, per The New York Times.

What they're saying: "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," Belichick said in a statement, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

  • "Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my family and the New England Patriots team," he added.
  • "One of the most rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020 when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the forefront and became actions."
  • "Continuing those efforts while remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweighs the benefits of any individual award."
  • The White House did not immediately comment on Belichick's statement.

The big picture: Belichick said in 2016 his friendship with Trump went back many years.

  • Prior to the November 2016 election, Belichick wrote a letter to Trump in which he congratulated the then-presidential hopeful on a "tremendous campaign," per NBC Sports.

Worth noting: Belichick's statement Monday came a day after the Professional Golfers' Association announced its board of directors voted "to terminate the agreement" to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump's New Jersey golf course.

Go deeper

NYC says it will end all contracts with Trump after Capitol siege

Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

New York City will end its contracts with the Trump Organization following the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, Mayor Bill De Blasio said Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the latest potential financial blow to President Trump in the fallout of the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. The Professional Golfers Association on Sunday terminated its agreement to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at President Trump's New Jersey golf course.

Trump political team disavows "Patriot Party" groups

Marine One carries President Trump away from the White House on Inauguration Day. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Donald Trump's still-active presidential campaign committee officially disavowed political groups affiliated with the nascent "Patriot Party" on Monday.

Why it matters: Trump briefly floated the possibility of creating a new political party to compete with the GOP — with him at the helm. But others have formed their own "Patriot Party" entities during the past week, and Trump's team wants to make clear it has nothing to do with them.