Robert Kraft on Deflategate: Top Comments, Twitter Reaction on Patriots Scandal

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor IJanuary 27, 2015

USA Today

New England Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft spoke to the media Monday about the ongoing deflated-football controversy, and he isn't happy.    

The 73-year-old reiterated what head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have said in the past couple of days—that the Patriots didn't knowingly do anything wrong. He went even further, though, and demanded an apology from the NFL if the league finds no wrongdoing.    

NFL Network's Albert Breer, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora and Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols gave a look at some of the most intriguing quotes from Kraft:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Kraft says "many jump to conclusions" and "make assumptions" about his organization. Expects league apology if no wrongdoing found

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Robert Kraft says he expects an apology from the NFL if investigation does not "definitively determine" the Patriots tampered w/footballs

Jason Cole of Bleacher Report reported what he was hearing regarding Kraft's concerns about the Deflategate scandal:

Bleacher Report NFL analyst Chris Simms doesn't believe the league owes the Patriots an apology for the ongoing situation:

As ESPN's Ed Werder noted, Kraft didn't say what would happen if the NFL found evidence of tampering:

Ed Werder @EdwerderRFA

#Patriots owner Robert Kraft wants #NFL apology to team, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady if allegations unfounded. Didn't say what if guilty

This is a stringent and unwavering stance that Kraft is taking.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King summed up his reaction in one brief question:

Peter King @SI_PeterKing

How great was that by Kraft?

Nichols passed along a comment from Sal Paolantonio of ESPN on why Kraft felt so comfortable taking a strong stance:

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

Sal Paolantonio on ESPN: "As one source close to the #Patriots told me, this was Robert Kraft reminding Roger Goodell who he works for."

Mark Maske of The Washington Post called Kraft's comments "stunning":

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

Kraft's comments were stunning. He very much took on the league office.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald was surprised at the way Kraft addressed the situation:

Jeff Howe @jeffphowe

Never seen Kraft that mad about anything. That was something else.

Kraft stated that the Patriots unequivocally did nothing wrong, suggesting there is zero reason to believe there will be any potential outcome other than the NFL needing to apologize for its handling of this matter.

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer applauded the statement:

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Loveeee Mr Kraft's statement. Strong words from a very strong owner.

Ralph Vacchiano of New York's Daily News and Pro Football Focus' Tyler Loechner put it simply:

Ralph Vacchiano @RVacchianoSNY

So to sum up: Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick have basically dared the NFL to prove they cheated and they seem pretty sure the league can't.

La Canfora noted the quickly increasing stakes of the controversy:

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Kraft says he is "disappointed" in how this matter had been handled. Pretty strong coffee from him. The stakes are ratcheted up

Jason La Canfora @JasonLaCanfora

Feels like something has to give now - either NFL proves Pats cheated, or they're going to have an angry, powerful owner to answer to

It's pretty amazing that the NFL and one of its most notable owners are butting heads, especially with the marquee game of the year on the horizon. As a result, there has been shockingly little talk about the actual Super Bowl just six days before the big game. 

Kraft's comments came just hours after Glazer reported that the NFL has video of a Patriots locker room attendant taking footballs from the locker room to another area on the field, noting that "he is a strong person of interest."

It's unclear exactly what that means for the ongoing investigation at this time, but it's becoming more obvious that once this controversy comes to a head, one side—whether that's the Patriots or the NFL—will be in some boiling-hot water. 

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