New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has been a proponent of improving health equity in the New England community, and he made a sizable donation to aid in those efforts.
On Wednesday, Kraft contributed $50 million to Massachusetts General Hospital, which is reportedly the largest donation from an owner of a sports team specifically to address racial disparity in the healthcare system:
According to A.J. Perez of Front Office Sports, Kraft is hoping his donation can help "fund research into sickle cell disease, a blood disorder that predominantly impacts the Black community."
"If this was a disease for white people, I think the cure would have been found already," Kraft told Perez. "I think it falls to people like myself to try to do what we can to help."
Kraft's donation will also go toward funding "a permanent diversity, equity, and inclusion chair position at the hospital," which is something he hopes will be replicated nationwide. It will also help Massachusetts General expand its blood center, which will now be named after Kraft. According to Perez, the center currently has 12,000 donors annually and is hoping to expand in the coming years.
Since 2010, Kraft has donated over $75 million toward medical efforts. His late wife, Myra, died in 2011 from ovarian cancer. Kraft established the Kraft Center for Community Health, which Perez noted "includes a mobile care program that provides health and addiction services."
"I knew how lucky we were to have the access to the care, and then I became aware of the inequities in the system," Kraft said. "This is the greatest country in the world. We have to do a better job. I thought about the stories I heard in the locker room, and then we started the center."