Patriots

Report: Kraft played key role in NFL players, owners meeting with Goodell

Report: Kraft played key role in NFL players, owners meeting with Goodell

An ESPN report details last week's meeting of NFL players and owners with commissioner Roger Goodell over national anthem protests and the key role of Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

The report from Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham says the Patriots today will not kneel but will stand during the national anthem with one hand over their hearts and another hand on the shoulder of the teammate in front of them.

From the story:

Early on, one of the players pointedly told the assembled owners -- in particular Kraft, who this year gave his longtime friend Trump a Super Bowl 51 champions' ring -- "We know a lot of you are in with [President] Trump. This meeting is going on because the players think that some of the people that they work for are with his overall agenda, and that's not in the players' favor."

"I'm not with Trump," [Miami Dolphins owner Stephen] Ross said, alluding to the President's comments about the players. "And I don't mind anyone printing that anywhere."

All eyes turned to Kraft, who had been one of the strongest advocates of hosting this meeting with players. He said that players, while within their rights to peacefully protest, needed to understand that, at the end of the day, the NFL was a business, and that everyone in the room needed to think about it that way and to think about the people they entertain.

Several other owners echoed Kraft's concerns that the president found a way to endanger the sport's popularity with a divisive, politically charged issue. "This could kill football and end our business," an owner said.

The Patriots' plan to stand for the anthem in a unified fashion echoes the comments made earlier this week by Patriots safety Devin McCourty, one of those who kneeled in protest last week. McCourty attended the meeting Tuesday with Kraft and teammate Matthew Slater. 

 

Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

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Raiders' Marshawn Lynch suspended game for shoving official

NEW YORK - Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended for one game without pay by the NFL on Friday for shoving a game official during the Raiders' victory over Kansas City on Thursday night.

Lynch was ejected from the game after he shoved line judge Julian Mapp.

The scuffle started when Oakland quarterback Derek Carr was hit late on a run by Kansas City's Marcus Peters midway through the second quarter. Raiders offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Donald Penn immediately confronted Peters, and Lynch sprinted onto the field from the bench to join the fray. Mapp tried to break up the fight, but Lynch pushed him and grabbed his jersey. Lynch also got a personal foul.

NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Lynch, saying:

"You made deliberate physical contact with one of our game officials as he was diffusing an active confrontation between players. You were disqualified for your inappropriate and unsportsmanlike actions. Your conduct included pushing the game official and grabbing his jersey. ... You were not directly involved in the active confrontation that the game official was attempting to diffuse, nor were you a participant in the play that initiated the confrontation. You were the only player from either team who ran from the sideline to midfield to insert himself into a situation in which he was not directly involved."

Lynch will be eligible to return to Oakland's active roster on Oct. 30, the day after the Raiders' game against the Buffalo Bills.

Lynch finished the game with two carries for 9 yards.

The Raiders rallied to win 31-30 on a touchdown pass by Carr on the final play, and Lynch was in the locker room after the game congratulating his teammates.

Lynch came out of retirement this season and was traded from Seattle to the Raiders. Lynch said he wanted to make a comeback so he could give something back to his hometown of Oakland before the Raiders move to Las Vegas in 2020.

Lynch has rushed for 266 yards and two touchdowns in seven games.

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