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Robert Kraft talks about $50K gift from Aaron Hernandez

08.27.12 at 11:50 pm ET
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Shortly after the Patriots wrapped up a contract extension with tight end Aaron Hernandez on Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft got a surprise.

‘€œOne 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. ‘€œI 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.’€™

‘€œWe didn’€™t request it; it’€™s something that he decided,’€ Kraft added. ‘€œI 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 ‘€œchanged my life.’€

‘€œI 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. ‘€œI 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.

‘€œHe 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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