Belichick Bends The Knee
FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Who had Bill Belichick on their 2021 Unlikely Virtue Signaler Bingo Card? Come collect your winnings. 

That’s right — the Lord Vader of the NFL’s Evil Empire has publicly rejected a Presidential Medal of Freedom because being in the same room as Donald Trump is apparently too icky.

Here’s his statement, in part: “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. 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.”

Translation: I coach in the NFL, and standing up to the mob is risking career suicide, even for a six-time champion, and I’m going to use the “riot” as an excuse to weasel out of going to the White House.  

Et tu, Bill? You would think that resistance to bending the knee would be in his DNA. The guy’s GAF (Give a f***) meter has been pegged at zero since I’ve been paying attention. He shuffles into press conferences in his cut-off hoodie looking like he just missed last call and is pissed about it, mumbles a few occasionally coherent thoughts and leaves, apparently unconcerned with protocol, decorum or even personal dignity. 

But not even Bill Belichick is immune to the woke virus rampaging through pro sports. Roger Goodell is NFL Commissioner in name only; Colin Kaepernick apparently calls the shots.  

As with any former Republican president who garners a Strange New Respect for not being as bad as his successor, the announcement has given Belichick some unexpected cachet with leftists, who celebrated it as “the latest rebuke to Trump from the sports world.” Deadspin’s headline blared: “Bill Belichick has some integrity, turns down Trump’s Medal of Freedom.”

To his credit, hard-core leftist Mike Florio of NBC Sports saw the announcement for what it probably was: a cynical reading of the room at Patriots HQ and attempt to deflect the guilt-by-association that has haunted Belichick since he supported Trump in 2016. Florio wrote, “This was not a deathbed conversion. It was an effort to avoid what would have been the death knell for Belichick’s coaching career.”

Of course, it follows a certain twisted logic that the author and instigator of Deflategate and Spygate, a win-at-all-costs, whatever-it-takes NFL Machiavelli, would align himself with those who would consider cheating Trump out of an election (whether it actually happened or not) a moral necessity. 

My thoughts on the matter? Get over yourself, Belichick. These Medals of Freedom are often nothing more than a chance for the President, whoever he is, to fangirl over his sports and pop culture idols. Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand, Lorne Michaels and Robert DeNiro — all Medal of Freedom recipients during the Obama years — are the kind of company Belichick would be keeping. A good reason to turn down the award, now that I think about it.  

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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