According to a piece published Wednesday by A.J. Perez of USA Today, Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft stated in an interview at a business summit that “Envy and jealously” fed the flames of Deflategate. He also described the alleged offenses as “nonsense and foolishness.”
Attending the Bloomberg Breakaway Summit, Kraft commented on various topics including his long-standing relationship with President Trump and head coach Bill Belichick’s incredible tenure with the organization, but his forthright disposition on the two-plus-year scandal that led to Tom Brady’s four game suspension and forfeiture of draft picks was what stood out.
“Well, I don’t hold grudges, but I also don’t forget anything,” Kraft said with a smirk. “Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. I’m going into my 24th season as an owner. I’m passionate about owning a football team in my hometown.
"If I hadn’t won, I would be so angry at our folks and thinking about what we’d have to do (to win a title). So, our competitors, I understand how they brought pressure on the league office to be very strong and (lobbied) not to compromise on an issue that was nonsense and foolishness.”
With his remarks on Tuesday, the 75-year-old owner continues to distance himself from the submissive, reluctant man who stood before reporters on May 19th, 2015 and accepted the NFL’s punishment without appeal, all just weeks after publically slamming the details of the Wells Report and criticizing the historic sanctions levied by its commissioner.
It’s not hard to see why Kraft’s attitude toward the entire debacle has become increasingly more brazen in the almost two years since — his team overcame. Without their on-field leader, they went 3-1 and ran roughshod over the rest of the league in 2016 en route to a historic comeback victory in Super Bowl 51. Now, after the removal of this year’s fourth round pick, all of the Deflategate punishments have been accounted for, and the Patriots have assembled arguably their best pre-camp roster (on-paper of course) in the Belichick era.
So it appears that with a fifth shipment of Super Bowl rings on its way to Foxborough, Robert Kraft certainly has some pep in his step, and his message was pretty clear on Tuesday night.
He doesn’t forget anything.
Go ahead, follow Brian Phillips on Twitter - @BPhillips_NFL