BOSTON (CBS) — Last weekend, at the start of Tom Brady’s suspension, the Patriots unveiled a massive Tom Brady banner on the lighthouse at Gillette Stadium.
Now, it’s coming down.
Team president Jonathan Kraft joined Patriots Preview on 98.5 The Sports Hub prior to Sunday night’s season opener in Arizona, and he said the banners will be taken down by Monday.
“Tonight when the game kicks off at 8:30, there’s a construction crew that’s assembled down at Gillette. And right as the game kicks off and the season starts, the banner and the numbers will come down,” Kraft said. “Because Tom would be the last person — no one in the organization, Tom leading the pack, would want anything to take away once the games had started. But this was a way to let him know that everybody loves him and has his back and we don’t feel that he was treated fairly.”
True to Kraft’s word, the banner came down early in Sunday night’s game.
Kraft explained why the banners were hung in the first place.
“Tom Brady, I want to put this in perspective. He’s the longest-tenured Patriot in history. This will be his 17th season with the club. Steve Grogan was the prior longest-tenured member of the club,” Kraft explained. “He’s played 17 of the [franchise’s] 56 seasons, and in that time, the Patriots have won — when you count regular and postseason — 43 percent of all the games they’ve ever won. We’re a team, and we’re an organization, and we’re a family, and everybody is equal. But when somebody is your longest-tenured member who has not only won those games but won four Super Bowls, and you don’t feel as an organization and as an extended family of all players — retired, current, et cetera — that somebody hasn’t been treated fairly, for us we wanted to do something just to symbolize him because we are a family. And he wasn’t going to be with us for the start of the season. And so for that window of time, between the end of the preseason and today, we wanted to symbolize the fact that he’s very much on everybody’s mind and we love him.”
Listen to the full interview below: