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Trump was always there for Kraft. Goodell, not so much

Robert Kraft, pictured in 2015.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Patriots owner Robert Kraft shed some light on his relationship with Donald Trump, as well as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, in an interview with the New York Daily News.

With regard to his support of Trump, the two have been friends for a long time. Kraft is a lifelong Democrat and gave a large donation to Barack Obama’s campaign, but Gary Myers writes that Kraft’s loyalty to Trump goes back to when his wife Myra died from cancer in 2011.

“When Myra died, Melania and Donald came up to the funeral in our synagogue, then they came for memorial week to visit with me,” Kraft said. “Then he called me once a week for the whole year, the most depressing year of my life when I was down and out. He called me every week to see how I was doing, invited me to things, tried to lift my spirits. He was one of five or six people that were like that. I remember that.”

Kraft’s friendship with Goodell is on less solid ground. He was unhappy that the team was fined $1 million and lost a draft pick after the Deflategate investigation, but “he was apoplectic” after the four-game suspension of Tom Brady was announced as part of the discipline.


Kraft was asked about his relationship with Goodell now.

“I don’t know if it will ever be the same, but in order to do what is best for the Patriots franchise long term, I believe it is best to compartmentalize and move on,” he said. “Like our quarterback, I am trying to remain positive and look to the future rather than dwell on the past. As a native New Englander, that’s easier said than done, but I am doing my best to put the matter behind me.”


Myers points to the trio of Kraft, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick as the reasons for the Patriots’ success, and the fact that they have been in place together for so long.

Kraft discussed the working relationship he has with Belichick.

“I’ve tried to create a culture and value system that is right for us.” Kraft said. “When you keep something going on this long, for me it’s important to minimize division from within. Bill and I have been able to establish a very good private relationship.”

Follow Andrew Mahoney on Twitter @GlobeMahoney.