Trump-Backing Owner Locks Arms With Players for Anthem
And Patriots owner Robert Kraft 'deeply disappointed' by his pal Trump
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2017 9:05 AM CDT
In this April 19, 2017 file photo, President Trump is presented with a New England Patriots jersey from owner Robert Kraft, and head coach Bill Belichick.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

(Newser) – Patriots owner Robert Kraft kicked in $1 million toward Donald Trump's inaugural, gave the president a Super Bowl ring, and publicly confesses the two have long been friendly, reports CBS Sports. So if you expected Kraft to hold his silence while Trump took on NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem, you expected wrongly: Kraft on Sunday released a statement that was harsher in tone than that of Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying he was "deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and ... working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change."

Meanwhile, another NFL owner who donated $1 million to Trump's inauguration engaged in what USA Today calls an "unprecedented show of unity with his team." Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan locked arms with players during the national anthem ahead of a game between the Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens Sunday in London. Numerous players from both teams knelt for the anthem—to draw attention to racial injustice and police brutality—two days after Trump said owners should fire "son of a bitch" players who do so. The early game in London was expected to kick off a day of similar protests in the NFL.

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