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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Robert Kraft: Lockout Could Start to Really Annoy Fans

With the baseball season just starting to heat up and the NHL and NBA playoffs well underway, it’s easy to forget that we might not have football to look forward to in the fall. NFL players are currently locked out of team facilities while guys like Drew Brees are digging into their own pockets to keep their teams fresh.  If nothing else, at least the owners are acknowledging that the entire situation is starting to look bad.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald called our attention to some comments Patriots owner Robert Kraft made about the lockout on Sunday, in which he acknowledged that the current labor struggle is starting to make the league look bad in the eyes of the fans.

“The problem can be solved. I really believe that,” Kraft said. “We’re blessed to have one of the greatest sports businesses in the world right here in America. And one of my concerns is that we not aggravate our fan base, because they don’t really understand, and they don’t want to understand whether it’s the owners or the players (fault). They just want to have football.”

“And we have to be really careful,” he continued. “And I think we’re coming to that point now, where we start to hurt ourselves collectively in the eyes of our fans. Cuz in the end, the fans just want football. They don’t want to hear about all this meaningless squabbling. And we have a great business. So we have to sit down with the principals and find a way to solve it.”

News flash: the fans are already aggravated.  However, optimists would view Kraft’s comments as a positive.  The Patriots owner, who has frequently voiced a belief that the labor situation should be sorted out without lawyers, is one of the “bad guys” in this situation.  The owners want a new deal.  The owners have locked the players out of team facilities.  The owners are claiming they are losing money but refuse to prove it.  When one of said owners acknowledges that the fans have every right to be annoyed with the situation, you could argue it shows a willingness to move forward and compromise.

What?  A man can dream.

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