Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft addresses role in facilitating Jay-Z, NFL partnership

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USA TODAY Sports

Robert Kraft addresses role in facilitating Jay-Z, NFL partnership

Robert Kraft did, in fact, play matchmaker to help Jay-Z partner with the NFL.

Jay-Z's entertainment company, Roc Nation, recently brokered a deal with the NFL to lead the league's music and entertainment efforts as it enters its 100th season. In an interview Wednesday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show," Kraft confirmed he helped get the ball rolling on that deal by setting Jay-Z up with the NFL.

"We're involved with the NFL, and Jay-Z is a good friend and we've been doing some stuff in some charitable areas," the New England Patriots owner said. "We were happy to introduce each side and try to help them work together."

Kraft developed a relationship with Jay-Z while both were working to free rapper Meek Mill from prison. Both Kraft and Jay-Z played a role in launching the Criminal Justice Reform Organization earlier this year, and according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Kraft took NFL commissioner Roger Goodell out to Los Angeles in January for an initial meeting with Jay-Z that eventually led to this partnership.

Jay-Z has taken criticism for partnering with the NFL, as players like Eric Reid and Kenny Stills believe the rap mogul is selling out the protest movement initiated by Colin Kaepernick by siding with the organization that continues to blackball the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback.

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President Trump name-drops Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Kaepernick answer

President Trump name-drops Patriots owner Robert Kraft in Kaepernick answer

President Donald Trump wants everyone to know that he knows several NFL owners, especially New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft. 

Trump cited Kraft while answering a question from reporters about former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Trump has previously been an outspoken critic of Kaepernick, who famously protested police brutality and racial inequality by kneeling during the national anthem. He hasn't played a snap in the NFL in more than three years. 

“Only if he’s good enough,” President Trump said on Friday when asked if Kaepernick should be back in the league. “If he’s good enough. . . . And I think if he was good enough, I know the owners, I know Bob Kraft, I know so many of the owners. If he’s good enough, they’d sign him. So if he’s good enough — I know these people — they would sign him in a heartbeat. They will do anything they can to win games.

“So I’d like to see it. Frankly, I’d love to see Kaepernick come in, if he’s good enough. But I don’t want to see him come in because somebody thinks it’s a good P.R. move. If he’s good enough, he will be in.”

Earlier this week, Kaepernick tweeted a video showing him working out. It featured a clock displaying how many days he's been denied from work, and said that he's "still ready." Considering Kaepernick led his 49ers to the Super Bowl, the consensus is that he'd be a better option than many starting NFL quarterbacks, if not almost every backup. According to Trump, Kraft and the other NFL owners disagree. Last fall, Kraft didn't deny a New York Times report that the Patriots had interest in signing Kaepernick as a backup to Tom Brady.

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Quick Slants the Podcast: Tom Brady is taking control of his future

Quick Slants the Podcast: Tom Brady is taking control of his future

Tom E. Curran on the all the Brady news from the past few days and Phil Perry checks in from joint practice with the Lions in Detroit. 

1:49 - Hot off the Press - Tom Curran breaks down the big Tom Brady news from the past few days: the restructuring of his contract and him and Gisele putting their Brookline, Mass., home on the market. The way Tom sees it, there are a few ways it'll go down with Brady at the end of the 2019-20 season and one of them could be a shock to Pats fans.

13:01 - Popped and Dropped - Phil Perry checks in from the Patriots' joint practice with the Lions in Detroit. He goes through the good and the bad of the week so far, including the subpar play of Brady and the tight end group and the success of the defense.

25:13 - Deep Dive - While in Canton for Ty Law's Hall of Fame induction, Tom caught up with Bills reporter and Hall of Fame voter Vic Carucci to talk about the lack of Patriots in the Hall and how voters deal with aging candidates.

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