Sen. Marco Rubio asks President Trump to award former Dolphin with Medal of Freedom. Trump responds.

Armando Salguero, Miami Herald on

Published in Football

Days after Nick Buoniconti's death in July, ardent Miami Dolphins fan and Florida Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to President Donald J. Trump, asking that the former linebacker be seriously considered for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded by the United States president for especially meritorious contribution to (1) the security or national interests of the United States, or (2) world peace, or (3) cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.

Among the more recent recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom are golfer Tiger Woods, New York Yankees Hall of Fame relief pitcher Mariano Rivera, and NBA Hall of Famers Jerry West and Bob Cousey.

In his request that President Trump consider Buoniconti for the medal, Senator Rubio writes: "Winning two Super Bowls for the Miami Dolphins and being their most valuable player three times, Mr. Buoniconti was a success on the field.

"However, it was off the field where he changed the lives of many. A practicing lawyer, Mr. Buoniconti held a variety of positions within the athletic and entertainment industries. But it was his son, after suffering a spinal cord injury, who drove Mr. Buoniconti into his passion: helping others. He founded The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis as well as The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, which together, the Buoniconti Family raised more than $500 million for valuable research. He led these efforts with a servant's heart, and left his mark on the world, and it is my hope, the foundation for finding a cure for paralysis ... "

President Trump responded to Sen. Rubio's letter on Sept. 24. That response reads in part, "As the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom is reserved for those who, in my estimation, have made especially meritorious contributions to the United States.


"I appreciate your suggestion and will consider it when I select the honorees."

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