Belichick, athletes send condolences to Krafts

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Belichick, athletes send condolences to Krafts

With the news of the passing of Myra Kraft, athletes -- some Patriots, some not -- took to Twitter and other outlets to give their condolences to the Kraft family.
Coach Bill Belichick: On behalf of the entire Patriots football operation, we mourn the passing of Myra Kraft. As much support as her quiet but unmistakable presence provided us in the competitive arena and as much as I personally will miss her warm embraces before and after each game, Myra shined brightest in a much broader arena. In the humanitarian arena, her generosity through philanthropy was admired and appreciated by all. She made a permanent impression on hundreds of coaches, players, staff and our families as a model of grace, strength and giving. Myras vision and example will impact and remain very much with our team forever.

Matt Light: "She wasn't someone that we saw like Robert and Johnathan and the rest of the family. but her impact was felt in many other ways. And just the things that she did in that community and what that did for the guys on the team. It really drove me to do a lot and to give back, to find my little niche, and to be a part of that community. And I'll tell you she's an incredible person, she really was."
Jerod Mayo to Boston Globe: "I am extremely saddened with the passing of Myra Kraft. Shehas been a mainstay in the community and the Patriots family. Her giving spirit along with her countless random acts of kindness and philanthropy will continue to be a legacy to be remembered."

Vince Wilfork: "(expletive) lockout I don't even know how to get in touch with Mr. Kraft to offer my support and condolences a wonderful life lost that I probably would have had the chance to see again if it wasn't for the problems!! Luv ya Myra "momma". Sorry guys had to vent myra was a wonderful woman who my wife and I loved dearly somuchmorethanfootball"

Kevin Faulk to Boston Globe: "Myra Kraft meant a whole lot to me and my family with her influence and her generosity. ... She did so much for the state of Massachusetts as well as the Patriots."

Leigh Bodden: "Praying for & wishing the Kraft Family the best through this tough time."

Darius Butler: "My condolences and prayers go out to the Kraft family during this tough time."

Brett Lockett: "All my prayers and blessings go out to Robert Kraft and the Kraft family. We are suffering a major loss in the Patriot family."

Devin McCourty: "Please give your thoughts and prayers to Mr. Kraft and his family on the passing of Mrs. Kraft."
Zoltan Mesko: "Behind every great man, there stands a great woman My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kraft family. Rest in Peace Myra H. Kraft."

BenJarvus Green-Ellis: "I would like to extend my prayers and sincere condolences to the Kraft family during this difficult time. Please keep them In your prayers."

Julien Edelman: "My Prayers go out to the Kraft family."
Heath Evans: "We have lost 1 of the greatest women I know & hands down the finest in all of sports wthe passing of Mrs. Myra Kraft"

Dane Fletcher: "RIP Myra Kraft Thoughts & prayers go out to Mr. Kraft and the Kraft family, she was a very unique & special person!"

Taylor Price: "Prayers and condolences go out to Myra Kraft and the Kraft family."

Lawyer Milloy: "Myra Kraft has passed away. With my Brisk depature from Boston, she is the one person that I regret not saying goodbye too. As a young playerman she was a gr8 example of how a woman stands beside, not behind, a man of power! I never got a chance to say thanks 4 that lasting impression. R.I.P. You will be missed."
Taylor Twellman (Revolution): "Today is a very sad day. Myra Kraft in '02 when I came to Boston opened her arms to me and made me feel like her son. morethansports. And will forever remember what MyraRobert meant to me and my parents when I signed @NERevolution. My 2nd set of parents were n Boston!"

Chad Ochocinco: "@lindacohn I've never been part of the Patriot organization but my condolences to the team and the Kraft family.May Mrs. Myra Kraft r.i.p"

Braylon Edwards: "RIP Mrs. Kraft, my prayers and condolences go out to the entire Kraft family."

Dante Stallworth: "@mortreport oh no!! That's terrible news... Great family, great ownership that really cares about EVERY player! My condolences to the Krafts."

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL

Tom Brady delivers video message at funeral of Navy SEAL


Tom Brady delivered a video message last week at the funeral of Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken, a Maine native and former UConn track athlete killed in Somalia on May 5.

Bill Speros of The Boston Herald, in a column this Memorial Day weekend, wrote about Milliken and Brady's message.   

Milliken ran track at Cheverus High School in Falmouth, Maine, and at UConn, where he graduated in 2001. Milliken lived in Virginia Beach, Va., with his wife, Erin, and two children.  He other Navy SEALs participated in a training exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011 where he met and posed for pictures with Brady.

Speros wrote that at Milliken’s funeral in Virginia Beach, Va., Brady's video offered condolences and thanked Milliken’s family for its sacrifice and spoke of how Milliken was considered a “glue guy” by UConn track coach Greg Roy.

Milliken had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, earning four Bronze Star Medals and was based in Virginia since 2004.  He was killed in a nighttime firefight with Al-Shabaab militants near Barij, about 40 miles from the Somali capital of Mogadishu. He was 38.

The Pentagon said Milliken was the first American serviceman killed in combat in Somalia since the "Black Hawk Down" battle that killed 18 Americans in 1993. 

In a statement to the Herald, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said: “It was an honor to host Kyle and his team for an exercise at Gillette Stadium in 2011. It gave new meaning to the stadium being known as home of the Patriots. We were deeply saddened to hear of Kyle’s death earlier this month.

“As Memorial Day weekend approaches, we are reminded of the sacrifices made by patriots like Kyle and so many others who have made the ultimate sacrifice to defend and protect our rights as Americans. Our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt appreciation are extended to the Milliken family and the many families who will be remembering lives lost this Memorial Day weekend.”