Kraft weighs in on Trump’s comments on player protests

FILE - In this April 19, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump is presented with a New England Patriots jersey from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, right, and head coach Bill Belichick during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, where the Patriots were honored for their Super Bowl LI victory. In addition to the jersey, the team confirmed on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017, that Kraft decided after the team's visit to also have a Super Bowl championship ring made for Trump. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

FOXBORO, Mass. (WPRI) – Patriots owner Robert Kraft has weighed in on President Trump’s recent comments on protests in the National Football League.

At a rally Friday, Trump suggested that NFL owners should fire players who took a knee in protest during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now,’” Trump told the crowd. “Out. He’s fired. He’s fired.”

The comments drew angry criticism from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the executive director of the NFLPA, and athletes including LeBron James and Steph Curry.

Sunday morning, Kraft, a longtime friend of Trump’s, issued a response to the ongoing war of words.

I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.

Several Patriots players also took to Twitter to voice their opinions on the issue, including safety Devin McCourty, defensive end Cassius Marsh, and lineman Nate Solder.

The Patriots are in Foxboro Sunday, set to take on the Houston Texans at 1 p.m.