At least as of this writing, President Trump is scheduled to give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick Thursday. The event has not yet been added to the president’s official schedule.
The NFL beat writer for the Boston Globe says it is not certain that Belichick will accept the medal.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is always a great honor, but this is about as far from a normal circumstance, and about as far from a normal president, as the country has seen. The president has been impeached, is likely to be impeached again, has been banned from Twitter, and several Republican officials are calling upon Trump to resign for his role in the events leading to Wednesday’s chaos on Capitol Hill. To the extent unnamed sources can be trusted, Trump is allegedly having second thoughts about his video where he recognized “a new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th.”
Bill Belichick has already received every honor, accolade, and praise possible in the world of professional football. A medal ceremony this week would benefit Trump more than Belichick, and plenty of New England Patriot fans would see this as Belichick lending his credibility and prestige to the president after an abominable week.
New England fans would probably never completely turn against the coach who brought home so many championships. But many who held him in the highest regard would find his presence at the White House this week . . . oh, what’s the word I’m looking for . . . deflating?