FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots owner Robert Kraft is concerned about the point the NFL has reached in the lockout because he knows the fans are irritated and the lawyers are the only ones coming out victorious.
"We should focus on business," Kraft said Sunday at the Science of Sports Science Fair at Gillette Stadium. "I've learned with litigation, it doesn't matter who wins. No one wins. The lawyers are winning because they're getting big fees, but in the end, it's the essence of the product. We've got a great product. We've got to get back to business and find a way to get football going."
Kraft continued to maintain his stance that the lawyers need to get out of the room in order to allow the football people to get the game back on track. When the lockout ends, the lawyers will move on to something new, and that aspect doesn't sit well with Kraft.
"I don't think there's another industry in America that's in the court system," Kraft said. "I always believe you don't solve things through litigation. You solve things by people who have a long-term, vested interest in the game sitting down and finding ways to build it. Right now, unfortunately, what's going on is we have union attorneys who are controlling a litigation process where three to five years from now, they'll be working on other cases, and we'll be sitting with the players and agents and people who care about the game and trying to figure out how do we grow it and make it better. I think people with a vested interest in the game and growing the game should be the people dealing with how to solve the problem of our current dispute."
Sunday marked the 65th day of the lockout, which began March 11. It has already lasted far longer than many league sources predicted in February and March.
"The problem can be solved," Kraft said. "I really believe that. We're blessed to have one of the greatest sports businesses in the world right here in America, and one of my concerns is that we not aggravate our fan base because they don't really understand and they don't want to understand whether it's the owners or the players. They just want to have football, and we have to be very careful. And I think we're coming to that point now where we start to hurt ourselves collectively in the eyes of our fans because, in the end, the fans just want football. They don't want to hear about all of this meaningless squabbling, and we have a great business. So we've got to sit down with the principals and find a way to solve it.
"People who care about the game should sit down on both sides. We should stop suing one another and get down to business."