Donald Trump shouts out Bob Kraft, Tom Brady

The links between president-elect Donald Trump and the New England Patriots got even more explicit Thursday night, with Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft attending one of the events leading up to Trump’s inauguration and Trump referencing him, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick in his speech.

“In the audience, we have somebody that’s under no pressure at all, because he’s got a great quarterback in Tom Brady, a great coach named Belichick, Bob Kraft. So good luck, Bob. Your friend Tom just called, he feels good. He called to congratulate us, he feels good, good luck. You’re going to do great.”

We’ve previously seen Brady talk about his friendship with Trump, and Trump cited the support of both Brady and Belichick shortly before November’s election, with Belichick later confirming he set Trump a letter. So, this isn’t particularly out of the blue, and it’s not uncommon for presidents to have friends in the sports world they reference. The support for and from Kraft is a two-way street, too; here’s what Kraft told Ken Belson and Ben Shpigel of The New York Times about Trump this week, in a piece published Thursday:

Among N.F.L. owners, whose politics tilt Republican, Kraft is among the most loyal donors to Democratic candidates. Yet he, as well as Brady and Belichick, considers President-elect Donald J. Trump a good friend, a tricky relationship in heavily Democratic Massachusetts, which voted for Hillary Clinton by a wide margin.

Kraft said they met 20 years ago when Trump invited him to play golf at his club in West Palm Beach, Fla.

“Loyalty is important to me, and he has been a wonderful friend,” Kraft said. “I think one of the great problems in the country today is the working poor, the middle class, that there hasn’t been growth in income on an equal basis, and I really think the policies he’s going to bring to bear are going to be great for the economic side of America.”

It is interesting to see Kraft support Trump so prominently, and it’s notable to see Trump shout out Kraft, Brady and Belichick on the eve of his inauguration. It’s particularly interesting to see Trump mentioning getting a call from Brady and providing an update on how Brady’s feeling ahead of Sunday’s . Maybe this will make news reports elsewhere about Brady’s health;  the key question there is does the president-elect count as “sources”?

[Sports Illustrated]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.