Brady, Gronkowski help put on a show at Amendola's Celebrity Waiter Night

Brady, Gronkowski help put on a show at Amendola's Celebrity Waiter Night

BOSTON -- Just before Danny Amendola led his teammates into the dining area of Towne Stove and Spirits for his annual Celebrity Waiter Night, he was asked for a scouting report on one of his teammate's capabilities as a server.

"Probably wine everywhere," Amendola said matter-of-factly, referring to tight end Rob Gronkowski. 

At least the meals won't be spiked, though, right?

"I can't promise that," Amendola answered. "But I told him to behave tonight."

Moments later, Amendola and several of his teammates kicked off the event -- Amendola's third Celebrity Waiter Night in Boston -- by signing autographs, taking pictures, and helping to auction off some in-demand items. In all, $210,00 was raised for Amendola's Catches for Kids Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of low-income children and families in need. 

"The most rewarding part is just to see the kids' faces when they get to meet my teammates or come to training camp, or we go to Walmart and get them supplies and things like that," Amendola said. "It's rewarding to meet the kids and to know that we can actually help them. It's fun."

Amendola and Gronkowski were joined by teammates Tom Brady, Julian Edelman (who went without the walking boot he's been seen wearing since undergoing offseason foot surgery), Martellus Bennett, Jimmy Garoppolo, Chris Hogan, Chris Long, Brandon Bolden, Ryan Allen, Chris Harper and Joe Vellano.

Brady took an active role in helping to auction off two signed jerseys for over $4,000 as the winners also received signed footballs thrown to them from across the room by the Patriots quarterback. When one winner dropped his, Brady sent Gronkowski over for an impromptu receiving lesson.

Amendola was at Brady's Best Buddies Football Challenge earlier this month, and he also participates in Long's Waterboys Initiative. He explained that it's no surprise to see so many teammates show up for events like his on Monday.

"We do a lot for each other, whether it be on the football field or whether it be in Boston and giving back to each other's foundations," he said. "We love to support all we can. That's ultimately why we play." 

He added: "We're really good friends. We spend so much time together, and we love one another. We're family members. To support them and to give back to their foundations, what they love to do is important just as it is to workout out together and try to play good football. To give back to the community and be a staple in the community has always been our No. 1 goal. That's why we're here."

For more about Amendola's Catches for Kids Foundation, you can visit dannyamendola.org.

Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

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Goodell statement calls Trump's comments 'divisive'

In separate statements Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith each criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players. 

Goodell's statement: 

The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month.  Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.

 

And Smith's statement: 

Whether or not Roger or the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks. 

 

NFLPA president Eric Winston, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, also tweeted a statement critical of the President:

At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest. 

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally. 

He also lamented that football has become less violent.

“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.

President Trump responded again on Twitter Saturday afternoon, saying players who don't stand for the anthem should, "Find something else to do!"