Donald Trump

Did Ken Starr take a shot at Patriots during Donald Trump impeachment trial?

Did Ken Starr take a shot at Patriots during Donald Trump impeachment trial?

Monday's closing arguments in the Senate's impeachment trial for President Donald Trump had absolutely nothing to do with sports.

... Until Ken Starr stepped to the podium.

Starr, a member of President Trump's defense team, managed to shoehorn in references to both Deflategate and Major League Baseball's latest sign-stealing scandal while making his closing argument.

"It's fundamental fairness. It's playing by the rules," Starr said Monday in the Senate chamber. "It’s why we don't allow deflating footballs, or stealing signs from the field. Rules are rules. They are to be followed."

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We're not sure what inspired Starr to bring up Deflategate -- the allegation that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady used deflated footballs in the 2015 AFC Championship Game that eventually led to Brady's suspension -- or the recent sign-stealing scandal that already cost Red Sox manager Alex Cora his job and could implicate Boston in addition to the Houston Astros.

A trial that could lead to removal of a U.S. president doesn't seem like the best platform to rehash New England-area cheating scandals.

But Starr -- the former Baylor University president who resigned in 2016 amid the school's mishandling of rape allegations -- apparently chose those two examples as a means to question whether prosecutors properly followed impeachment proceedings after the Senate rejected Democrats' call for witnesses at the trial.

"Were the rules here faithfully followed? If not, the prosecutors should not be rewarded," Starr added.

Regardless of how the impeachment trial plays out, the Patriots can't seem to stay out of the news -- sports-related or otherwise.

Robert Kraft calls Donald Trump's NFL protest stance 'horrible' in 2017 audio

Robert Kraft calls Donald Trump's NFL protest stance 'horrible' in 2017 audio

Robert Kraft has supported Donald Trump in the past. But the New England Patriots owner vehemently disagreed with the president for his handling of a controversial issue two years ago.

TMZ Sports has released audio from an October 2017 meeting between NFL owners and players regarding the players' protests during the national anthem.

That audio features Kraft taking Trump to task for his fiery criticism of Colin Kaepernick and other players who knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and social injustice in America.

 

"The elephant in the room now is this kneeling, which every player has the right to do if they think is right," Kraft is heard saying in the meeting.

"The problem we have is, we have a President that will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don't feel is in the best interest of the matter.

"It's divisive and it's horrible. And it's actually the opposite of what you all [the players] are trying to do."

Kraft's comments came about a month after Trump told supporters at an Alabama rally he'd love to see NFL owners tell players who protested, "Get that son of a b---- off the field."

Kraft's criticism of Trump leaked shortly after that 2017 meeting, but this is the first time we've heard audio of his remarks, which included an additional lament about Trump's divisive tactics.

"We've lost the message to America," Kraft said, "because there's just 40 percent of the people who see this (through) their own bigotry or misunderstanding. That feeds into it."

Kaepernick hasn't played an NFL down since the end of the 2016 season and remains unemployed after holding a workout for NFL teams last weekend.

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Watch Celtics legend Bob Cousy's speech after receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom

Watch Celtics legend Bob Cousy's speech after receiving Presidential Medal of Freedom

Thursday was a special day for 91-year-old Boston Celtics legend Bob Cousy.

The Boston Celtics legend visited the White House on Thursday afternoon to accept his Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor. The medal recognizes those who make “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Watch President Trump award Cousy the Presidential Medal of Freedom below:

Cousy followed with an emotional acceptance speech:

An amazing honor for not only a legendary basketball player, but a legendary human.

NBC Sports Boston's own A. Sherrod Blakely enjoyed a great conversation with Cousy on the latest Celtics Talk Podcast. You can listen to that full interview below:

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