Robert Kraft isn’t siding with Donald Trump this time.
The New England Patriots owner offered a bold criticism of his president Sunday morning, saying in a statement he’s “deeply disappointed” in Trump’s recent comments about NFL players who protest.
“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday,” Kraft’s statement read. “I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger.
“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 the importance of 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 and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”
Speaking at a rally in Alabama on Friday, Trump ripped NFL players who protest during “The Star-Spangled Banner” and called for team owners to “fire” those players. He also took aim at the league’s rules on tackling in an unhinged rant that has been met with widespread criticism in NFL circles.
Kraft has been a vocal supporter of Trump both before and after he won the 2016 presidential election — Kraft reportedly gave Trump a Super Bowl LI ring — but it appears the president is on his own here.
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