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Bill Belichick issues statement regarding Myra Kraft

07.20.11 at 3:16 pm ET
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Through the team, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has issued a statement in the wake of the death of Myra Kraft, wife of New England owner Robert Kraft.

‘€œOn 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. Myra’€™s vision and example will impact and remain very much with our team forever.’€

In addition, the Patriots have announced that public services for Myra H. Kraft will be on Friday at 10 a.m. at Temple Emmanuel, located at 385 Ward Street, Newton Centre, MA  02459. In lieu of flowers, the Kraft family has asked that donations be made in Myra’€™s name at the Myra Kraft Giving Back Scholarship Fund at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft,

Heath Evans on M&M: Myra Kraft’s spirit ‘irreplaceable’

07.20.11 at 11:56 am ET
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Former Patriots running back Heath Evans, now with the Saints, joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday to share his memories of Myra Kraft, who died Wednesday morning. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“She was just special,” Evans said of the wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “Very few owners in this business and this league that truly care about their guys both on and off the field. They are an organization that practices that, they preach it, but they back it up with action and words.

“Myra always made [Evans’ wife] Beth Ann feel so special, and as a husband there is nothing more rewarding than your wife coming come and bragging about the owner’s wife making her feel special and appreciated, always just embracing their ideas for different things in the community and how she embraced the Heath Evans foundation and how special she made Beth Ann feel for stepping up and allowing her story to get all over the country. Myra was instrumental in praising Beth Ann for that.”

Evans said one moment that stands out in his mind is when he was with the Saints and the Krafts took the time to check in with him and see how he and his family were doing.

“They are a very blessed family, financially, but their hearts just spoke volumes to those players and the players families,” he said. “As one of my tweets said, I remember in ’09 when I tore my ACL and trying to crutch across the field and [Myra] and Mr. Kraft coming to me at midfield and knowing by name, how is Beth Ann, how is [daughter] Ava, how is [daughter] Naomi? These are billionaire people who have businesses and players of their own to worry about who were concerned about my family and my knee. Truly special people. Myra had a spirit about her that was irreplaceable.”

Robert Kraft has been heavily involved with the league’s labor negotiations recently, a time in which is wife was very ill. Evans talked about how much balancing Kraft had to do and how much praise he deserves.

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Read More: Heath Evans, Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft,

Myra Kraft leaves indelible imprint on Patriots franchise

07.20.11 at 11:24 am ET
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It is difficult to measure the impact of Myra Kraft on the New England Patriots franchise. The wife of the longtime owner was one of the most powerful women in the NFL in recent years ‘€” she had a strong voice when it came to guiding the fortunes of the team, helping serve as an unofficial adviser. Make no mistake, it was not Robert Kraft who owned the Patriots. Instead, it was a partnership.

‘€œWords cannot express the deep sorrow that we feel in learning of the passing of Myra Hiatt Kraft,’€ the team said in a statement Wednesday. ‘€œMyra passed away early this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. We are all heartbroken. The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family have suffered a great loss.’€

Her impact was seen immediately following the announcement on Twitter, where several current and former Patriots expressed their sadness. They painted Kraft as a woman who helped her husband guide the fortunes of the franchise, spark an unprecedented community outreach program and provide a warm touch for the families of new players when it came to getting acclimated to the New England area.

‘€œShe wasn’€™t someone we saw like Robert or Jonathan and the rest of the family, but her impact was felt in many other ways,” veteran offensive lineman Matt Light told the NFL Network. “And just the things she did, in that community, and what that did for guys on the team, I mean, it really drove me to do a lot to give back and find my little niche to be apart of that community. I’€™ll tell you, she’€™s an incredible person. She really was.’€

‘€œI’m truly heartbroken today,’€ wrote former Pats safety Lawyer Milloy. ‘€œMyra Kraft has passed away. With my [b]risk departure from Boston, she is the one person that I regret not saying goodbye to. As a young player/man she was a [great] example of how a woman stands beside, not behind, a man of power! I never got a chance to say thanks [for] that lasting impression. R.I.P. You will be missed.’€
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Read More: Christian Peter, DeMaurice Smith, donte stallworth, Heath Evans

Lawyer Milloy on Myra Kraft’s death: ‘I’m truly heartbroken’

07.20.11 at 11:14 am ET
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Editor’s note: Updated at 12:30 p.m. with more tributes.

Current and former Patriots paid tribute to Myra Kraft and the Kraft family on Twitter Wednesday morning following her death. The wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Myra was well known for her charitable endeavors in the Boston area.

Former Patriots safety Lawyer Milloy, on Twitter: I’m truly heartbroken today. Myra Kraft has passed away. With my Brisk departure from #Boston, she is the one person that I regret not saying goodbye too. As a young player/man 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.

Left tackle Matt Light, via the NFL Network, “She wasn’t someone we saw like Robert or Jonathan and the rest of the family, but her impact was felt in many other ways. And just the things she did, in that community, and what that did for guys on the team, I mean, it really drove me to do a lot to give back and find my little niche to be part of that community. I’ll tell you she’s an incredible person. She really was.”

Current Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, to The Boston Globe: “I am extremely saddened with the passing of Myra Kraft. [She] has 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.”

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

Patriots cornerback Darius Butler, on Twitter: My condolences and prayers go out to the Kraft family during this tough time.

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Read More: donte stallworth, Jerod Mayo, Lawyer Milloy, Myra Kraft

Michael Irvin on D&C: ‘Business gets done when the slipper falls off Cinderella’

07.20.11 at 10:35 am ET
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Hall of Fame wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday morning to discuss the current NFL lockout and other topics. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Irvin remains optimistic for a deal to get done to put an end to the lockout. He had an interesting analogy to describe what it takes to get a deal done.

“Very optimistic,” Irvin said. “I never really panicked through it all. I have always gone with the notion that anytime the guys, the owners, and even some of these players at the level we’re talking about, the guys that they are saying are ‘name’ guys, business gets done. Business gets done when the slipper falls off Cinderella. That is how it is, when the slipper falls off Cinderella everybody gets serious, and that is what is happening right now. Thank god the slipper is falling off.”

When the lockout ends and players return to the field after months off from team workouts, Irvin said that there will be some injuries.

“Oh yeah, you’re going to see some injuries,” he said. “I was telling some of the young guys that I mentor and talk to that are on the fringe of the NFL, trying to get in, I said, ‘Stay prepared. Being prepared and understanding the formula for success is being prepared when you’re getting the opportunity and success will follow. You will be given the opportunity.’

“Guys will not be in shape, I don’t care what you say, there are guys that are very gifted and very talented, but need the pushing. They did not get that pushing. There will be some injuries and things like that, you will see some bad football.”

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Read More: Michael Irvin, Myra Kraft, NFL lockout, Robert Kraft

Tributes pour in after Myra Kraft dies of cancer

07.20.11 at 10:01 am ET
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The Patriots family received some devastating news Wednesday when cancer claimed the life of Myra Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft and president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.

‘€œWords cannot express the deep sorrow that we feel in learning of the passing of Myra Hiatt Kraft,” the team said in a statement. “Myra passed away early this morning after a courageous battle with cancer. We are all heartbroken. The global philanthropic community and the New England Patriots family have suffered a great loss.’€

Kraft, who was born and raised in Worcester, served on the boards of a number of charitable organizations, including Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the American Repertory Theatre, the United Way of Massachusetts Bay, and her alma mater, Brandeis University. In 1995, she became the first woman chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, a post she held until 2002.

Tributes began to pour in on Twitter after the news of Kraft’s death was announced.

Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork wrote that myra was a wonderful woman who my wife and I loved dearly. Wilfork also expressed frustration with not being able to contact Robert Kraft due to the work stoppage. F’n lockout I don’t even know how to get in touch with Mr kraft to offer my support and condolences, he tweeted, adding: a wonderful life lost that I probably wlda had the chance to see again if it wasn’t for f’n $$$ problems!! Luv ya Myra “momma”

Tweeted former Patriot Heath Evans: We have lost 1 of the greatest women I know & hands down the finest in all of sports w/the passing Mrs. Myra Kraft. God rest her soul!

Read More: Heath Evans, Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft, Vince Wilfork

Vikings punter: Logan Mankins, others, are ‘douchebags’

07.19.11 at 5:41 pm ET
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It’€™s safe to say that Patriots offensive lineman Logan Mankins and Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe won’€™t be exchanging Christmas cards.

Mankins, one of the four plaintiffs in the Brady vs. NFL antitrust lawsuit who is reportedly trying to get his own settlement, drew the ire of the Vikes’ punter on Tuesday. Kluwe took to Twitter (@chriswarcraft) to say: ‘€œSigh, and once again greed is the operative byword. Congrats [Drew] Brees, [Peyton] Manning, [Logan] Mankins, and [Vincent] Jackson for being ‘€˜that guy’€™. #douchebags’€

According to Yahoo! Sports, Mankins and Jackson want to become unrestricted free agents or be given $10 million each for settling as lead plaintiffs in the case of Brady vs. the NFL, while Brees and Manning are also reportedly looking into their own deals. Meanwhile, the business of football cannot resume unless the antitrust lawsuit is settled with all the plaintiffs. (However, on Tuesday, ESPN’€™s Adam Schefter reported that Mankins has not sought any financial settlement ‘€œso far.’€)

However, that didn’€™t stop Kluwe, who told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Tuesday afternoon that his tweet was the result of him being upset and just having some fun with the situation.

‘€œIt’€™s like a mix of both,’€ he told Judd Zulgad. ‘€œThe thing is we’€™re so close to having a deal done and to kind of pull that at the last minute it feels kind of like blackmail. We all out the owners when they do crap like that and it’€™s only fair to call out our own people when they do the same thing. I’€™m against hypocrisy wherever it’€™s at. Just finish the deal up so we can get the season going.’€

Read More: adam schefter, Chris Kluwe, Drew Brees, lockout
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