Robert Kraft Says 'Envy and Jealousy' Played Role in Deflategate Punishment

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 3, 2017

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft raises the the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his team defeated the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston. The Patriots defeated the Falcons 34-28. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

With the New England Patriots still basking in the glow of their improbable Super Bowl 51 victory, owner Robert Kraft spoke out against the NFL about the Deflategate punishment.

Speaking at the Bloomberg Breakaway summit on Tuesday, Kraft said "envy and jealousy" had at least some role in the NFL suspending Tom Brady for four games, fining the Patriots $1 million and taking away the team's 2016 first-round draft pick and 2017 fourth-round draft pick (via ESPN.com). 

Kraft called New England's Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons in February "unequivocally the sweetest" of the five championships the franchise has won since 2001.

"Well, I don't hold grudges, but I also don't forget anything," he said. "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."

The Deflategate saga lasted more than 17 months starting with the initial complaints of deflated footballs by the Indianapolis Colts after the 2016 AFC Championship Game to the time Brady decided to withdraw his appeal of the NFL's suspension. 

The Patriots ultimately got the last laugh in the situation, going 3-1 in games not started by Brady last season and having their future Hall-of-Fame quarterback lead a 25-point comeback against the Falcons in the Super Bowl.