New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, despite his friendship with U.S. President Donald Trump, emerged as an advocate for players during NFL meetings in which protests during the national anthem were discussed.
Trump has continually bashed the NFL for allowing its players to protest during the national anthem before games, so 11 owners, 12 current players, one former player and three NFL Players Association leaders assembledÂ Oct. 17 at the league office to discuss how the NFL would move forward. Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. recapped that meeting and another owners-only meeting in an “ESPN The Magazine” feature Friday.
Here’s an excerpt from the article:
“…Soon the session was running so long — by 90 minutes — that nobody knew how to end it,” they wrote. “At one point, Robert Kraft mumbled to the two Jets players seated on either side of him, ‘Can we just shut the f— up and end this?’ Everyone on that side of the table laughed, and the optics of the Patriots owner laughing with two players from his team’s rival seemed to have accomplished the mission.”
During the owners-only meeting, Wickersham and Van Natta Jr. wrote that Kraft supported an NFL marketing plan that would “seize the social moment and make an impact beyond football” and “predicted the issue would work itself out over time.”
Read the entire feature here.
Thumbnail photo viaÂ Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images