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Bob Kraft, who up until the last hour had remained silent on "DeflateGate," has now publicly defended the team in a strong manner. Speaking to the media shortly after the team arrived in Arizona, the Patriots' owner went as far as to say the league owes the team an apology (From BostonGlobe.com):

“I want to make it clear that I believe unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate,” he said at a news conference Monday after the team’s arrival in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX.

He also said it “bothers him greatly” that the Patriots’ reputation has been questioned in the aftermath of the NFL discovering 11 game balls were underinflated in the AFC Championship Game. He also wants an apology if the Patriots are cleared of any wrongdoing.

“I would expect and hope that the league would apologize to our entire team,” he said.

Kraft also expressed unhappiness over the way Deflategate has been reported.

“I am disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported on,” he said. “’We expect hard facts instead of leaked circumstantial evidence’ regarding investigation.”

Kraft's public backing of Brady and Belichick's staunch denials of this week's accustations does speak volumes to the situation at hand. The close relationship between Kraft and Comissioner Roger Goodell is no secret. Kraft was one of Goodell's strongest advocates as the ugly Ray Rice saga unfolded earlier this season. It seems unlikely Kraft would come out with sentiments as strong as these unless he knows for a fact the team will not be found guilty of any major wrongdoing.




Kraft's comments come on the heels of a report from Jay Glazer that thickened the plot of DeflateGate and turned the focus of the investigation to a member of the Patriots' equipment staff. Shortly after the Glazer tweet, Ted Wells, who is leading the NFL's investigation, released a statement which said it will likely continue for several more weeks, and also encouraged all to remain silent on the matter until a conclusion was reached. Apparently Mr. Kraft didn't get the memo.

Kraft is clearly angry and frustrated by the fact this has tarnished the team's reputation in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. Guilty or not, Kraft's statements are a major chapter in the seemingly never ending "DeflateGate" narrative.

@LC_NEP
@PatriotsLife

Liam Cunningham 1/26/2015 08:48:00 PM Edit
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