FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP/CBS) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says his family will continue the philanthropic legacy of his late wife Myra.
“We were together for almost 50 years, so I had the best seat to the best person on the planet,” Kraft said, fighting back tears. “I don’t know that she understood the global reach, but what she did and how she impacted people, we have to keep that legacy going and we will continue to do it as a family.”
In his first public comments since a news conference at the end of the NFL lockout, Kraft said Wednesday he’s creating an emergency fund for people who have one-time needs. The Patriots owner acknowledged the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund has already raised more than $3 million, and that he intends to answer every tweet, email and letter he received after her passing.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports
He spoke on the field at Gillette Stadium three weeks after his wife died of cancer at the age of 68. The Patriots open their exhibition season there Thursday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Kraft wore a lapel pin with the initials MHK and the Patriots logo in honor of his wife. The players will wear patches of the same design on the left chest of their uniforms.
“Steve Neal just came and visited me. He was up in the office and he said, ‘What are you doing to remember her?’ I said, ‘Well the guys are going to be wearing a patch.’ He said, ‘Well, that’s cool because that means we’re going to have one heck of a season.’ Because if they have her energy and desire to win and, in a good way, kick butt where it matters, her spirit will hopefully come through it,” said Kraft.
The Pats owner was also touched by the amount of support he received from Patriots past and present, both at his wife’s funeral and in their words during the tough time.
“I’ll tell you, from seeing Willie McGinest come from California and Richard Seymour from Atlanta and Rodney Harrison and Troy Brown, of course, and Ty Law and Curtis Martin. And then Randy Moss coming up and coming to the home. Some of the letters that we have gotten from players throughout the league, it is a sense of family. What a privilege. We welcome that,” said Kraft.
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