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Robert Kraft criticizes Trump over clash with NFL players

(JTA) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he was “deeply disappointed” by President Donald Trump’s clash with NFL players. Trump on Sept. 22 at a rally in Alabama called out football players who kneel during the national anthem as a protest against the treatment of blacks by police and other officials. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’” Trump said during the rally. The president later posted a series of tweets on the issue, saying: “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect…. our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” He also tweeted: “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”

Kraft, who is Jewish and known as a long-time friend of the president, posted a response to Trump on the team’s Twitter account on Sunday. Kraft wrote: “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.”

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