Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Wednesday for his weekly appearance, Tedy Bruschi reacted to Bill Belichick's statement declining the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The former Patriots linebacker believes Belichick is more connected to the locker room than ever before.
"I am proud of him for what he did," Bruschi said. "And I say that not with any feelings of President Trump, or President-elect Biden, or how I feel in that aspect, but just proud of my coach based on I would say the awareness he showed in declining the Medal of Freedom and not going down there and just saying no — him being aware more now of his players’ lives off the field. When I played for Bill, it was few and far between in terms of what things were like for me at home, what things were like for me off the field. It was important if it effected me and my performance on the field — 'we don’t want you to get in trouble and all of that' — but it was all about football, the whole aspect of your position, all of that. Mainly that.
“I think there’s been a waking of Bill in terms of 2020 with COVID and the social justice issues [with] him learning what it’s like to be a black man in America — those types of things. Leaders like Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater sort of letting [him] in on certain conversations of ‘what it is like for us and we’re trying to make you more aware.’
"I think Bill turning down this medal, I think it’s the biggest honor a civilian can have, just to say, ‘I’m with you guys.’ I think that’s an important message that he had to convey because that’s what it says: I am aware of my players. I am aware of what they are going through and I am with them. That’s why I am so proud of him with what he did -- not so much about politics or anything like that. He’s more connected now to his locker room than I think he’s been in a long, long time.”
In his statement, Belichick cited how meaningful what he learned in 2020 was, as well as how he doesn't just represent himself, he represents his family and the New England Patriots.