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Jonathan Kraft Discusses DeflateGate, Donald Trump & Belichick’s Future On Felger & Mazz

BOSTON (CBS) — New England Patriots president Jonathan Kraft joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Mazz on Radio Row on Thursday, tackling nearly every topic you could imagine.

It just took a little time to get to the one topic he really wanted to discuss: Super Bowl LI.

As things tend to do on Felger & Mazz, it got a little contentious at times. Badgered with questions about the DeflateGate saga, Kraft said it’s been put to bed, and there’s only one thing that matters at this point.

“The way this whole thing gets dealt with is by winning the game on Sunday. That’s the ultimate end game for our organization,” he said. “You know how we feel about what happened. For us, everything culminates on Sunday. We have a chance to be world champions two of the last three years, and that’s what matters to us. Period.”

Kraft wouldn’t say if he supports commissioner Roger Goodell, but maintained that he believes Goodell received bad advice throughout DeflateGate.

“I think we’ve been 100 percent clear that what took place at the AFC Championship Game two years ago in our opinion and estimation, from the moment it started and ended, was wrong. It was much to do about nothing and wasn’t handled well. Roger didn’t get good advice,” he said. “That’s our opinion. It’s done. We are back in the Super Bowl.”

Kraft said that The Wells Report in Context will remain online, and no one in the NFL has expressed any disdain towards the website.

“I don’t think it’s ever going to come down. Tom Brady, what he has accomplished, is unparalleled. People could talk about his legacy and it could be tainted by that situation,” he said. “That thing will be up forever, but it’s more for historical perspective.”

The conversation moved on to President Donald Trump, who Kraft said has been a great friend to his family for many years. While they do not agree with him on all issues, Kraft said they do support the new president.

“He’s been a great friend for a long time and we don’t shy away from that. He’s been a great personal family friend for a long time, but we’ve never looked to publicize politics related to a football team, which is what you’re trying to do,” he said to Felger. “The great thing about America is when people come together around sport, all the differences that exist in a heterogeneous society sort of melt away. You root for your team and people come together; that’s what sport is about. When you discuss politics, I have a lot of friends on different sides of issues. That’s what happens.

“I’m on different sides of issues with Donald Trump, but he’s still a friend and someone I support. He’s our president,” said Kraft.


Kraft doesn’t believe that their relationship with Trump has cost the team any supporters or caused any sort of backlash. Kraft doesn’t recall giving Tom Brady a “Make America Great Again” hat to put in his locker, which has been the basis for so much controversy for over a year.

“That was in the locker over a year ago, and if Tom said it, I must have done it. But I don’t recall,” said Kraft. “Donald Trump, as I said, is a friend and there are many issues I don’t agree with him on, including a woman’s right to choose. My wife and I are big-time supporters of planned parenthood, and I have friends who disagree with me. But that doesn’t mean you can support someone if you disagree with them on something. That’s an example of that.

“I think Tom is a great friend of Donald’s whether there is a hat in his locker or not.”

Kraft said he would have attended New England’s White House visit two years ago when Barack Obama was in office, but he was recovering from hip surgery he had just a week prior.

“Absolutely I would have gone. I would have gone if it was someone I voted for or didn’t vote for,” he said. “If your team wins a championship, I would never think of making a political statement. I would absolutely never do that.”

However, he does not have any issues with tight end Martellus Bennett saying earlier this week that he may not attend a White House visit if the Patriots win Sunday’s Super Bowl LI over the Atlanta Falcons.

“America is America. Marty is a very smart and thoughtful guy. If that’s his opinion, whether I would do it or not, I respect Marty,” he said. “That’s his decision and opinion.”

There was some actual football discussed during Kraft’s nearly 40 minutes on the show. He was asked about a Washington Post story that said owner Robert Kraft knows when Bill Belichick is going to retire, but the two have a pact not to discuss that decision.

Jonathan said he too is privy to that information, but it’s not something he’s talking about.

“We have a pact, we’re not talking about it. Lets talk about the game,” he said.


Kraft discussed the feeling the team has ahead of a Super Bowl, the future of Rob Gronkowski, and hit on many other topics. Listen to the full interview:

Comments

One Comment

  1. Deflategate has been thoroughly and completely debunked beyond any shadow of a doubt.

    Just to summarize what has occurred in the science world since the start of deflategate… When any scientific paper is published, the results are not accepted in the science community until there has been a peer review where other scientists review and verify results. This is the standard way that science moves forward and ensures that only sound proven
    science is accepted. This review can take years to accomplish. Not to confuse the Wells report with a scientific paper
    but the science community did perform such a review of the Wells report and the result has been devastating to the Wells report.

    Numerous scientists from around the country (and some in Europe) have analyzed the numbers in the Wells report and stated explicitly and unanimously that there is no evidence of tampering and that weather accounts for all PSI measurements. Also, a number of others have written critiques of the Wells report that rip it to shreds identifying an appalling amount of deceit and fraud in the report that had to be known by the authors. Wells had to make numerous very sketchy and some flat out wrong (according to their own report) assumptions to claim even a minuscule amount of pressure unaccounted for which is exactly why Wells never stated that pressure amount in the whole report. Not only have all the scientific conclusions in the report been refuted but the motives of the authors have also been brought into question. The Wells report is indefensible.

    One such instance of a false assumption is that Exponent assumed that Jastremski set the pressure of the footballs before “gloving” them. Exponent confirmed this assumption when questioned in the Brady appeal. The Wells report describes Jastremski’s process and states unambiguously that Jastremski set the pressure right after “gloving” the footballs. This means that there is 0.7 psi (according to Exponent’s own analysis) in the Patriots favor that Exponent did not account for which turns out to be about twice as much as Wells could claim was missing from the footballs (if you accepted
    all their sketchy or flat out wrong assumptions). So this one blatantly and undeniably wrong assumption completely exonerates Brady and the Patriots. There are numerous others in the report. Again, the Wells report is indefensible.

    The only people who still believe that Brady and the Pats are guilty of anything are those that are unwilling or incapable of reading and understanding the Wells report and the numerous critiques of the report.

    The first time ever that the nfl measured football pressures during a game, they were completely unprepared to understand the data they saw. Their expectation was that if a football measured 12.5 psi in the warm locker room it should measure the same on the cold field. By now even the semi-literate should understand that is not true. With no prior experience measuring football pressures during a game, the very first moment the nfl saw a football measure below 12.5 on the
    field they made an assumption of guilt which, they did not know at the time, was not consistent with science. The story of deflategate is the story of the NFL’s dishonest behavior from start to finish.

    The NFL now understands this. That is why they are hiding the football pressure data they took during last couple of seasons and why they quietly swept deflategate II under the rug when the Giants reported that 2 Steelers footballs measured 11.4 and 11.8 PSI during their game a month or so ago. Note that 8 of the 11 Patriots footballs were just about at or above the Steelers 11.4 football measurement by the gauge that Walt Anderson said he used. Statistically speaking, the chances that the lowest measuring Steelers football was picked with a sample size of 2 (out of 12) is less than 4 percent meaning statistically speaking it is far more likely that there were other Steeler footballs that were even lower.

    By sweeping deflategate II under the rug the NFL is admitting that they now understand the link between temperature and pressure that they did not understand with deflategate.

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