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Kraft believes Patriots would provide “most supportive system” for Michael Sam

Kraft Getty Images

Last May, after NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he’d welcome gay players to the Patriots.

Now that an incoming rookie has come out as gay, Kraft has reiterated — and elaborated on — his position.

We’re about winning,” Kraft said, via the Boston Herald.  “And anyone who can come in here and help us win, I personally don’t care what their ethnic background is, their racial background, the gender preference.  If they can help us win, and they’re about team first, then I’m happy to have him here.”

Kraft, who said he previously has talked to coach Bill Belichick about adding an openly gay player, also thinks that being with the Patriots would help Sam.

“If a player were gay and came into this locker room, it would be the most supportive system,” Kraft said.  “He’d gain strength by being in here.  And it wouldn’t be divisive and he’d make friends for life and they could help him win. . . .

“I really believe that.  And it was interesting to me that this young man announced to his teammates that he was gay before the season started.  And they had a 12-2 record, they were in the SEC championship game, like us being in the AFC championship game, and they lost to Auburn and beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.

“And he was co-defensive player of the year in the SEC.  And that was after full disclosure.  And that makes me happy. . . .  I think it’s good for America.”

NFL teams ultimately are looking for what’s good for them.  The Patriots want to win, and they know how to absorb potential distractions without distractions occurring.  From drafting Ryan Mallett (a much-scrutinized rookie three years ago) to adding Tim Tebow (whose presence wasn’t a major issue last offseason) to dealing with the aftermath of the Aaron Hernandez arrest, the Patriots know how to navigate waters that would capsize other NFL organizations.

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41 Responses to “Kraft believes Patriots would provide “most supportive system” for Michael Sam”
  1. The Great Ted Thompson the Genius says: Feb 10, 2014 5:46 PM

    What a great name for a linebacker. Is his middle name Will?

  2. green41563 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:47 PM

    Well, then you know what to do, Bob.

    Step up and draft him.

    Besides, after Aaron Hernandez, this’ll be a breeze.

  3. chinahand11 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:50 PM

    New England would be a good landing spot for Michael. Good luck young man!

  4. bostonian13 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:52 PM

    The media wouldn’t be allowed much into Patrtios territory with Belichick around if they do draft the guy.

  5. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Feb 10, 2014 5:53 PM

    Kraft might want to think about getting another coach and QB. Watching the Pats in January is like #groundhogday

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 10, 2014 5:57 PM

    Coming out with this information before playing a down in the league or even being drafted ends the chance for his career to be judged strictly on football terms.

    The reason he came out now is than in three months, or a year, he would be irrelevent in football terms, in all likelyhood. Had to do it now to make an impression of any sort.

  7. seaeagle707 says: Feb 10, 2014 5:58 PM

    We know Belichick is the grand master of double speak, and that not even Tim Tebow, was allowed to upset the Patriot’s applecart. Plus, its the AFC, where the living is easy. So yes Mr. Kraft, I do believe that you make some valid points.

  8. realnflmaster says: Feb 10, 2014 6:04 PM

    Yeah, they can teach him how to film walkthroughs.

  9. jolink653 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:04 PM

    I’m sure any of the 32 organizations would be supportive of him, but which of them will want to deal with the overbearing scrutiny and presence of the media, who will no doubt swarm to cover this? I think that’s a big part of why no teams want any part of Jason Collins in the NBA. It was similar to Tebow: good guy, some level of talent, but way too much media baggage

  10. mickton says: Feb 10, 2014 6:05 PM

    I believe that,cheating scandals aside they do have the best team administration in football, I could only hope my phins could be half as competent. I won’t hold my breath aqua orange & white flows through my veins go dolphins

  11. vinceofdarkness says: Feb 10, 2014 6:10 PM

    Maybe so, but he probably wants to be drafted by San Francisco. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I totally support this young man by he way.

  12. chipbeastkelly says: Feb 10, 2014 6:17 PM

    I thought people were saying this guy was courageous and had a lot of guts. Why does he need the most supportive system?

  13. j0esixpack says: Feb 10, 2014 6:27 PM

    Belichick is a master at refusing to allow anything become a distraction.

    Last season he had the Tim Tebow situation (which despite the media’s best attempts, was never a distraction to the team) and the Hernandez situation.

    End result – the Patriots “only” went 12-4. Other teams would salivate over that.

    Even in the midst of “Spygate” involving an incredibly over-hyped 2007 violation of a 2006 rule change, what did the Patriots do?

    They went 16-0 for the first and only time in NFL history (often cited as “proof” they “can’t win without cheating” by jealous fans)

  14. stonedolphin89 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:27 PM

    As a Dolphins fan I despise this franchise. However,

    As a fan of the game I know Kraft as an owner is a “player’s owner” and knows how to support his players. And as much as I hate him professionally I know Billy only cares about winning, not sexual orientation. If there’s an environment where this kid can flourish, it’s probably in NE. Best of luck!

    And sadly, it’s more than evident that my own Dolphins are far from ready for accepting a gay man into our locker room. Hopefully we can grow the hell up in the next couple years.

  15. granadafan says: Feb 10, 2014 6:36 PM

    Adams would need to go to a team with very strong veteran leadership with a strong coach, not a place where the inmates run the asylum like the Jests or Miami.

  16. heymister24 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:42 PM

    The NFL needs mandatory aids classes to prepare.

  17. noeffinway says: Feb 10, 2014 6:44 PM

    Is the media going to crucify the team that does NOT come forward with a statement.

  18. chawkup says: Feb 10, 2014 6:47 PM

    Good for Kraft! No wonder why the Pats continue to win through injuries and distractions and, frankly, a roster that is not all that talented. I am, however, trying to figure out what “gender preference” means.

  19. umakenosense says: Feb 10, 2014 6:50 PM

    Why isn’t this considered tampering??? Oh that’s right it’s the face of the NFL..

  20. bigdaddy44 says: Feb 10, 2014 6:58 PM

    New England has the potential to be a great landing spot for Sam. Belichick is focused on football and the culture there keeps that top priority. As far as the organization goes, I believe the Kraft family would fully support him and help him navigate through the massive attention he would receive as a ground breaker.

  21. misterautomatic says: Feb 10, 2014 6:58 PM

    He absolutely could come to SF. I don’t understand why some people think this is such a funny statement or why folks have to virtually hide their grin behind their hand when they say it.

    Of course, the area has a history and reputation for being gay-friendly (whatever that means in this day and age) but, most importantly, we could always use more pass-rushing talent.

    Do we really have to wait until May for the draft?! Ugh.

  22. scw1993 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:01 PM

    Where does Kraft say “provide?” Did I miss something?

  23. paulz624 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:03 PM

    Kraft better worry about getting Brady some weapons and not worry so much about making a social statement.

  24. belgaron says: Feb 10, 2014 7:05 PM

    Pre-prepared story about [token] #256

    Robert Kraft says his team has no problem with [token]. The Patriots would welcome [token] with open arms.

  25. TheWizard says: Feb 10, 2014 7:07 PM

    Now that he’s come out, how long can the media drag out the hype?

    Really, there’s only so much to talk about for so long. It’s not like they can make every question a gay question in press conferences.

    Kid was probably smart to deal with it up front.

  26. corvusrex96 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:08 PM

    I think the media will be more detrimental for him than the team. Imagine every press conference where they try to get every player to publicly support the guy and if you say no comment the PC Gestapo arrive in full force .

  27. Denver Geldings - Getting blown out in the SuperBowl since 1960 says: Feb 10, 2014 7:18 PM

    umakenosense says:
    Feb 10, 2014 6:50 PM
    Why isn’t this considered tampering??? Oh that’s right it’s the face of the NFL..
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Why isnt it tampering??? Are you kidding me??? How about, for starters, he is entering the draft. In other words, regardless of what the Patriots say, he will play for whoever drafts him. This isnt a free agent who could be illegally swayed to “choose” the Patriots. He has no choice in the matter. The team that drafts him is the team he will play for. How do some of you people survive???

  28. csilojohnson says: Feb 10, 2014 7:38 PM

    He could compare Uggs with Brady.
    In all seriousness though. Brady has been on the team for a while now. If he can make it in the locker room im sure Sam will be just fine.

  29. bushwoodcc says: Feb 10, 2014 8:24 PM

    umakenosense says: Feb 10, 2014 6:50 PM

    Why isn’t this considered tampering??? Oh that’s right it’s the face of the NFL..
    ———————————————————-

    Tampering rules don’t apply here…this kid is part of the draft class. Whoever selects him first has his rights. Doesn’t matter what any GM, Coach or owner says about the kid, it isn’t tampering.

    Now go home and get your shinebox.

  30. elrock7 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:39 PM

    Yeah sure Kraft. The Patriots are best for everything…..blah blah blah.

    You can’t even make the best peanut butter!

  31. upperdecker19 says: Feb 10, 2014 8:51 PM

    Blue shirt/white collar – Check
    Suck up to Trump – Check
    Check mailbox for Super Bowl ring return from Putin – Check
    Blab about the Patriots being the best for everyone – Check

    Just another average day there Bobby

  32. j0esixpack says: Feb 10, 2014 9:00 PM

    paulz624 says: Kraft better worry about getting Brady some weapons and not worry so much about making a social statement.

    ——————————

    The Broncos were focused on spending enough to give themselves the best offense in the NFL – in fact the best offense in the HISTORY of the NFL.

    How’d that work out for them against one of the best defenses in the NFL in the Super Bowl?

    Expect Belichick to focus more on Defense than Offense for obvious reasons. Brady will always keep them in any game if the D does their job well.

  33. whatjusthapped says: Feb 10, 2014 9:07 PM

    Maybe the young man wants to play for one of the other 31 teams, you know, a team that doesn’t cheat.

  34. thirdistheworrd says: Feb 10, 2014 9:20 PM

    I have nothing against the Patriots, and nothing against Michael Sam, I just hate this attitude of bragging about how progressive and tolerant you can be. I was best man when my brother married his husband in New York last year, but I don’t make that part of my identity.

    If you think that what Michael Sam did is extremely brave and praiseworthy, that’s great, I agree, but stop waving your opinion around like it makes you a better person than anybody who isn’t equally as vocal in their support of gay rights.

    If we want to make things easier for gay athletes, maybe we should stop treating this issue like it’s the most important development of the millenium, and treat gay athletes the way they want to be treated: the same as everybody else.

  35. jimjets says: Feb 10, 2014 9:28 PM

    I think “bob” really really likes this kid. And he just loves billy and tommy and their adorable little red white and blue costumes too!!!

  36. pftaddict says: Feb 10, 2014 9:38 PM

    Where is the easy button? After sharing a locker room with an accused murder who goes around threatening teammates., this would be easy.

  37. lunarpie says: Feb 10, 2014 10:25 PM

    New England spies continuing the downward spiral. As soon as Tom Brady retires the Pats will take up where they were before the Tuck Rule with or without Michael Sam or Bill Belichick.

  38. bodybysnake says: Feb 10, 2014 10:26 PM

    Well he WOULD have plenty of company with Brady on the team and having his back(or would he have Queen Brady’s back?)

  39. jjbadd385 says: Feb 11, 2014 7:15 AM

    If he doesn’t get drafted now, he has a built in reason now, its because he is gay..if that fails, he can use race..clever approach!

  40. brazzz01 says: Feb 11, 2014 6:36 PM

    Belichick and the Patriots squashed the Tebow circus last summer.

    So there’s no reason to think they can’t handle the attention that Michael Sam will bring.

  41. brazzz01 says: Feb 11, 2014 6:38 PM

    “The New England Patriots are the gold standard franchise of the NFL”
    –Shannon Sharpe

    #cryPatriotHaters
    #cry

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