Patriots owner Robert Kraft last spoke publicly about Deflategate last summer, shortly after Tom Brady announced he would no longer fight the NFL’s draconian four-game suspension. In a statement, Kraft condemned the league, calling Brady’s punishment “unprecedented, unjust and unreasonable.” Five months later, his feelings haven’t appeared to soften.
In a wide-ranging feature story in the New York Times, Kraft is described as still “simmering” about Brady’s ban. He defends his decision to not take the NFL to court –– Kraft said in May 2015 he would accept the league’s penalties –– but takes a couple of jabs at the commissioner’s office.
“Sometimes, the league really messes up, and I think they really messed this up badly,” he said. “But we’ve all agreed to subjugate our right to disrupt everything. I mean, we can, but we’re a partnership. There’s jealousy, there’s envy, there’s stupidity. Sometimes, life is unfair, and you have to suck it up and move on and not use it as an excuse.”
Besides Deflategate, the other big controversy surrounding the Patriots over the last year has been their affiliation with the divisive President-elect, Donald Trump. Much like Brady and Bill Belichick, Kraft maintains a relationship with Trump. He called him a “good friend” ahead of the Massachusetts primary and visited Trump Tower in November. This week, Kraft was photographed at a pre-inauguration dinner party.
Though Kraft has donated to Democratic causes and candidates in the past, he praised Trump when asked about his incoming presidency.
“Loyalty is important to me, and he has been a wonderful friend,” he said. “I think one of the great problems in the country today is the working poor, the middle class, that there hasn’t been growth in income on an equal basis, and I really think the policies he’s going to bring to bear are going to be great for the economic side of America.”