In a surprise appearance during his head coach’s first official press conference of Super Bowl week, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft made a forceful statement about the organization’s role in the Deflategate controversy.
I want to make it clear unconditionally that the New England Patriots have done nothing inappropriate.
Kraft went on to describe how close the relationship is between him, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady over the past 15 years:
Tom, Bill and I have been together for 15 years. They are my guys. They are part of my family. And Bill, Tom and I have had many difficult discussions over the years. And I have never known them to lie to me. That is why I am confident in saying what I just said. It bothers me greatly their reputations and integrity, and by association, that of our team, has been called into question this past week.
In addition to emphasizing that the Patriots organization did nothing wrong, Kraft, a well-known name among casual NFL fans, demanded an apology directly from the NFL for the accusations made against the organization, the negative publicity that has stemmed from it and the handling of the investigation:
If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine if our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the league apologize to our entire team, and in particular Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for what they had to endure this week.
Kraft left the podium without taking questions.
The full transcript of Kraft’s statement can be found on the Boston Herald’s website.