After Being Criticized for Trump Friendship, NFL Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Is ‘Disappointed’ in President’s Comments

While various big names in sports have taken stands against President Donald Trump, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hasn’t been shy about his friendship with the newest occupier of the Oval Office.

During a team visit to the White House in April, Kraft gave Trump a customized Super Bowl LI ring, and although the NFL owner received a fair share of criticism for it, he provided a telling example of why their friendship seemed to be able to stand the test of time.

“In the toughest time in my life, he was there for me when my beloved wife died — six-and-a half, five-and-a-half years ago,” he told Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.” “He called me once a week for a year. ‘How you doing?’ I was really depressed. He invited me to things. He looked out after me.”

However, on Sunday morning, Kraft broke away from Trump, showing that just because there is a friendship, it doesn’t mean there isn’t free thought.

In a statement released on Twitter, the Patriots owner said he was “deeply disappointed” in the “tone of the comments” toward NFL players made by the president at a rally in Alabama on Friday night.

He asserted that he was “proud” to be connected to an organization that has so many players making big contributions to their communities, both on and off the field, and made a sobering comparison.

“There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” the statement said. “I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal.”

Kraft added that he supports his players’ rights to “peacefully affect social change and raise awareness” in a way that they feel will have the greatest impact.

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