Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft Remembers Al Davis, Calls Him ‘Football Pioneer’


Saturday was a sad day for the NFL and many fans around the league, as Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis passed away. Now begins the remembering of all that Davis contributed to the game.

Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft released a statement Saturday about the relationship he shared with Davis. In the statement, Kraft called Davis a "pioneer" of the league and spoke of how Davis made him feel welcome when he entered the league in 1994.

Here is the statement from Kraft in its entirety:

"I was deeply saddened to learn of Al Davis' death this morning. Al was an American Football League pioneer and a legendary hall of fame contributor to the National Football League. He was one of the first owners to welcome me into the NFL in 1994, which was a great thrill for me personally and an introduction that I will never forget. I always admired his passion for the game and enjoyed listening to his historical account of some of the game's most memorable moments. He had a unique style and a certain aura about him that would be hard to ever replicate. When engaged in any discussion, he always spoke with great conviction and could be very persuasive. 

"We shared a bond as two Massachusetts natives in the NFL, something that he pointed out to me in that initial introduction. I feel fortunate to have spent time with him just last Sunday before our game against the Raiders. Not knowing when I would see him again, I told him how much I appreciated all he had done for the game of football and thanked him for all that he had done for me. He informed me of the Raiders' plans to honor my sweetheart with a moment of silence before our game, which was a touching and heartfelt gesture. Little did I know that just one week later, we would be doing the same in his honor. It's very sad.

"On behalf of the entire Kraft family, I want to extend our heartfelt condolences to the Davis family, the Oakland Raiders organization and all of the Raiders fans who are mourning his loss. His presence will be missed, but his legacy will live forever."

To learn about more of Davis' legacy, view our Top 10 Photo Gallery.

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