President Donald Trump plans this Thursday to award New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, a White House official told Politico on Monday.
The event is part of Trump’s plan to apparently spend his final full week before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden making last-minute use of his presidential powers and touting what he considers his achievements in office, despite the pressure on him to resign after his role in last week’s riot at the Capitol.
A Patriots spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment, and the NFL club has not confirmed if Belichick will attend the ceremony at the White House.
A day after the siege on the Capitol last week, Trump awarded the medal to golfers Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam, and plans to also give one to his close political ally, GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, on Monday, according to Yahoo.
Both Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft are longtime friends of Trump, with the coach having written a letter supporting his candidacy during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Politico reported that last month Trump reappointed Belichick to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.
Fifteen of the 25 Presidential Medals of Freedom that Trump has awarded or announced have been for people known primarily for their involvement in sports.