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Robert Kraft talks about $50K gift from Aaron Hernandez

08.27.12 at 11:50 pm ET

Robert Kraft

Shortly after the Patriots wrapped up a contract extension with tight end Aaron Hernandez on Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a surprise.

“One of the touching moments since I’ve owned the team, knowing that this is our charitable gala tonight, Aaron came into my office a little teary-eyed and presented me with a check for $50,000 to give to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund,” Kraft told reporters Monday night at the team’s annual charitable foundation gala. “I said, ‘Aaron, you don’t have to do this. You’ve already got your contract.’ He said, ‘No, it makes me feel good and I want to do it.’

“We didn’t request it; it’s something that he decided,” Kraft added. “I just think he’s a super player and really a first-class guy. Some people might see all the tattoos on him and think … maybe 10 years ago I was in that class, [but] this guy’s a good guy. So I’m excited and we’ve made a big commitment to him.”

As far as Hernandez was concerned, the move was a no-brainer. He said Kraft “changed my life.”

“I have a daughter on the way, I have a family that I love. It’s just knowing that they’re going to be OK,” Hernandez told reporters. “I was happy playing for my 250 [thousand], 400,000 [dollars a year]. Knowing that my kids and my family will be able to have a good life, go to college, it’s just an honor that he did that for me. He gave me this opportunity. The $50,000 to help his foundation, obviously is basically like saying, ‘Thank you,’ and it means a lot to me.

“He didn’t need to give me the amount that he gave me, and knowing that he thinks I deserve that, he trusts me to make the right decisions, and it means a lot. It means he trusts my character, and the person I am, which means a lot, cause my mother, that’s how she wanted to raise me. They have to trust you to give you that money. I just feel a lot of respect and I owe it back to him.”

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