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Peter King on D&H defends Robert Klemko’s reporting: ‘There is no reason whatsoever he would make this up’ 10.20.16 at 9:58 pm ET
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Peter King

Peter King

Sports Illustrated and MMQB’€™s Peter King joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Thursday to talk about the Robert Klemko situation, among other NFL matters. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

Klemko, a MMQB reporter, was at the Bills-49ers game in Buffalo last Sunday and tweeted out a video of a woman tackling a dummy with an afro and a No. 7 jersey to apparently represent Colin Kaepernick. The tweet read: Bills fans scream “tackle the Muslim”, then a young lady obliges. 

The video doesn’t capture anyone yelling that, but Klemko claims it happened before he started recording.

The person in the video came forward to refute Klemko’s claims that she tackled the dummy as a result of the yelling. The woman, Alexis Dent, wrote an article in Medium saying no one had said anything close to “tackle the Muslim” and requested a retraction. Klemko refused and now it is a “he said/she said” situation.

Dent also claims to have Snapchat videos from before Klemko’s video, which are said to prove nothing was said. (Click here to listen to Dent on Kirk & Callahan earlier this week.)

King defended his reporter, although he did say he shouldn’t have posted the tweet.

“Robert Klemko should probably have never posted that tweet,” King said. “Clearly, should never have posted the tweet where he said that in the parking lot at the Bills game he heard two people say — he didn’t say this in the tweet — but he claims to have heard two people say, ‘Tackle the Muslim.’ When that happened and he turned on his phone and the video on his phone, obviously he didn’t capture that. Now, that has led to most people believing the woman who said that it was never said. I choose to believe Klemko.

“I’ve worked with him for four years. I have worked with him on some very sensitive stories. What he is guilty here is of bad judgement. Bad judgement in putting out his tweet and implying that the woman in his tweet ‘obliques.’ I still have no question whatsoever that the words were said — ‘Tackle the Muslim.’ There is no reason whatsoever he would make this up, that he would fabricate something in this case. He’s a journalist. People are going to believe what they want to believe in this case. I choose wholeheartedly to believe that it was said and he heard it accurately.”

Added King: “He went down to the tailgate parties outside of Ralph Wilson Stadium to see whatever there was to see. If there was nothing anti-Kaepernick to see or anti-Kaepernick kneeling for the anthem or whatever, then he would have seen nothing. Robert Klemko didn’t invent this story, period. I will believe that until the day I die.”

Read More: Peter King, Robert Klemko,
Peter King on D&H: Patriots ‘overpenalized by a lot’ for Deflategate 02.22.16 at 5:08 pm ET
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Peter King

Peter King

Sports Illustrated and MMQB’€™s Peter King joined Dale & Holley with Thornton on Monday to talk about his article published earlier in the day where he wrote the Patriots should get their draft picks back following Deflategate but won’t. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

King said it was at the Super Bowl where it was confirmed to him internally that the Patriots should get their first- and fourth-round picks back following Deflategate.

“I think what really made me think this with finality is when Roger Goodell came out at the Super Bowl and said that the testing of the footballs this year was not done to find out what the conditions, what the weather, did to the air pressure in footballs,” King said. “It was basically to find out if teams cheated. So we’re going to do spot checks to find out if teams were cheating. Well, what numskull of a team would have actually tried to cheat this year knowing that such an incredible spotlight was on. Knowing that the price of taking a little bit of air out of footballs, a little bit of air, was going to be a first-round pick, a fourth-round pick, $1 million and having your quarterback suspended for four games. It’s insane.

“That is what really made me believe that this really had been totally mishandled. It’s been overpenalized by a lot. If the NFL because of the circumstantial evidence and a few things that stink a little bit, if the NFL wants to penalize the Patriots and everything — $500,000 and a strongly worded letter, that’s fine. This rises to the level in my opinion of a minor misdemeanor, not a major felony.”

King added while there isn’t a precedent for giving back draft picks, Goodell has admitted he’s been wrong in the past, but hasn’t with Deflategate.

“How many times have we heard Roger Goodell say about Ray Rice, how many times have we heard him say, ‘I was wrong. I had to make a change. I was wrong.’ He’s already proven that if he feels like he made a mistake, he’ll change,” King said. “… I tend to think sometimes that Roger Goodell has gotten so big and so powerful and people trust him so much right now in and around the league — owners have a trust for him — I just don’t know that he has a guy to say, ‘You need to really look at the absolute proof in this case.’ Of course what Roger Goodell would say is we don’t have the same burden of proof that a court does and he’s right, they don’t. But before you take $1 million and a first- and a fourth[-round pick] away from a team, I just think you have to have better evidence and more substantial, more solid evidence than they had here.”

Read More: Deflategate, Peter King, roger goodell,
Peter King on D&H: ‘I don’t think for a minute that Robert Kraft wants Roger Goodell to be fired’ 09.17.15 at 8:03 am ET
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Peter King

Peter King

Sports Illustrated and MMQB’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on the Dale & Holley show Wednesday to talk about matters from around the league, including Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft’s relationship. To hear the interview, go to the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.

King believes even with everything that has happened between Goodell and the Patriots with Deflategate, Kraft doesn’t want Goodell fired because of the business man that he is.

“I don’t think for a minute that Robert Kraft wants Roger Goodell to be fired,” King said. “I think he’s upset with him, but I also think that in his business — one of the things that I admire about Kraft is he’s a business man. He knows how to make deals and I would bet in dealing with people around the world in which he as for 20 or 30 years in his family business, I would bet there are an awful lot of people that he gets very angry at, but understands he has to do business with. One of the things I admire about him is that he’s able to put his feelings aside because he knows the business as a whole is pretty important.”

When it comes to other owners in the league, King believes Goodell has more support than some might think and there’s never been a time where he’s been close to being pushed out of his role as commissioner.

“No. I don’t think it’s even close,” King said. “I think he’s got somewhere between two and four owners who are not in the Roger Goodell fan club.”

King was cautious to actually name specific owners, but is confident in the number of up to four as not being in favor of Goodell.

“There’s enough people I know in the league who feel like there are a couple, maybe as many as four, who would be anti-Goodell right now, or at least not pro-Goodell,” he added.

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Read More: Peter King, Robert Kraft, roger goodell, Tom Brady
Peter King on D&C acknowledges mistakes in Deflategate coverage: ‘I don’t have any defense for it’ 09.07.15 at 10:39 am ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who was critical of Kirk Minihane’s joke about murdering NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, joined Minihane on Monday’s Dennis & Callahan show to discuss the controversy and to acknowledge his own mistakes in his Deflategate coverage. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

During an appearance on Comcast last week, Minihane responded to a question about how to remove Goodell from office by suggesting someone hire a hitman to kill the commissioner. Although Minihane seconds later added, “I’m just joking,” some on the Internet (led by New York Post writer Bart Hubbuch) omitted the last part and blasted Minihane.

King was among those who called out Minihane for crossing the line, and he stood by his criticism during Monday’s conversation.

“I just don’t think at this time, when there’s a lot of people I think in New England — and probably not just in New England — who entertain in the back of their minds doing Roger Goodell physical harm, I don’t think it’s a good idea ever to joke about that,” King told Minihane and guest host Gary Tanguay. “But I certainly didn’t think it was a good idea this time to joke about it. … I just don’t think it’s smart.”

Asked he had ever made a sarcastic, off-the-cuff remark during one of his television appearances, King said, “I have done a lot of TV in my life, and I don’t think even off the air I would say, well, let’s hire somebody to kill somebody.”

Minihane called out King for his mishandling of the Deflategate story from the beginning, noting that King also made errors in his coverage of the Ray Rice situation — arguable the two biggest NFL stories of the past year.

“I did blow them,” King acknowledged, later adding: “I don’t have any defense for it. I don’t.”

Told by Minihane that some would view King’s behavior as reprehensible, King said, “I wouldn’t blame you at all for doing that.”

Despite his own mistakes, King last month called out ESPN for its poor handling of the Deflategate coverage, writing stories based on misinformation from NFL sources that painted the Patriots in an unfairly negative light and failing to correct them when the truth was revealed.

“The ESPN thing, ESPN was the media organization that was quoted by the Krafts, was quoted by the Patriots, was quoted by everybody as the one who had started this narrative,” King said. “What I did, I talked to somebody, one person, which was my error, one person, who confirmed that story. And instead of going out and getting one or two more people to confirm it, because obviously it’s a huge story, I didn’t do that. And it’s my fault.

“But the thing is, I will take my part of the blame in this, which is deserved. But I did not start the parade [of false anti-Patriots stories].”

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Read More: Kirk Minihane, Peter King,
Peter King on M&M: ‘I think they owe it to Tom Brady to get a lot better at the receiver position’ 01.31.14 at 1:12 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’s Peter King checked in with Mut & Merloni from Super Bowl Radio Row to preview Sunday’s game and discuss Patriots offseason news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

“I picked the Broncos, but look, if [the Seahawks] pick [Peyton] Manning off two or three times, they’re going to win,” King said. “I think one of the things you’ll see on Sunday — and I talked to Peyton a little bit about this yesterday, I had a few minutes with him after practice — I think Peyton Manning right now when he looks at this game what he sees is five-wide receiver formations, or five-receiver formations, maybe with Jacob Tamme or Andre Caldwell in the game. Spread, spread, spread. And just challenge Seattle to cover every guy so that he can’t find a window with any of the five guys. In my opinion, I think that’s the way they’re going to play it, and I think that’s smart.

“And then on Seattle’s side, I think Seattle is going to try to get Marshawn Lynch, and they’re going to try to run well and run the clock so that Manning only gets eight possessions. I think Seattle feels like, ‘We cannot give Manning the ball 11 times. If we do, we’re not going to win.’ ”

Touching on the Patriots, King said the primary need is obvious, but he said a trade for a big-name wide receiver appears unlikely.

“I see that it’s much more likely, at least in my mind, for them to draft and develop a receiver,” King said. “But I will say this: There are going to be a bunch of receivers who you can get. I think my feeling is they need to get younger and better at wide receiver, and I’m not sure the way to do that is by spending $12 million a year on a guy.”

King agreed that the team needs to surround Tom Brady with better talent.

“Especially after he did them — and no matter what anybody says, Brady did them a favor last year [by renegotiating]. And Brady will eventually, over the life of this contract, I believe, make less money than he could have — certainly than he could have. And he did that for a very simple reason: He wanted the team around him to be better. And look, some of this is circumstantial. Because there’s absolutely nothing that they could have done about this. Absolutely nothing.”

“And I think when you look at what has happened in the NFL now, you’re talking about a window. You look at what, to me, what the Denver Broncos did for Peyton Manning. He had a great situation going. And they said, ‘Oh, my God, two years [$]12 million for [Wes] Welker?’ ”

Added King: “I’m not saying that the Patriots have to go out and do something splashy like that. All I’m saying is that I think they owe it to Tom Brady to get a lot better at the receiver position.”

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Read More: Peter King, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Wes Welker
Peter King on M&M: ‘Silly’ to say AFC championship determines Peyton Manning’s legacy 01.17.14 at 1:21 pm ET
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Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni Friday to talk about his AFC and NFC championship predictions and Peyton Manning. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

While they have different stories, King compared the legacies of Jerry Rice and Manning to prove his point that one game should not completely define Manning’€™s career.

“When I think of Jerry Rice, I don’€™t think that he couldn’t do it when he was 42,” King said. “The Manning story is different, but not altogether so. I think we place so much emphasis on how a guy does in very, very big games, and rightfully so if you’€™re talking about the greatest of all time, if you’€™re making that argument.

“I think it’€™s silly to say what happens in one game, this one game 20 years from now, is going to put Peyton Manning 18th on the mental all-time quarterback list, however you’€™d rank it, or fourth.”

For King, the argument against decreasing the value of Manning’€™s legacy on one game includes the potential for a worst-case scenario during Sunday’€™s game.

“Suppose that Manning puts up — take a number — 35 points,” King said. “And the Denver D just totally disintegrates and [Tom Brady] scores 45, and it’€™s a shootout and Brady wins.

“I just don’€™t think you can judge Peyton Manning based on you telling me, ‘€˜Well if he loses this game he is here in NFL history or he is there.’ … Whether he wins another Super Bowl or not, I will consider him among the top five who ever played, but I won’€™t consider him the greatest, because you’€™re right, a quarterback does have to win championships.”

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Read More: Champ Bailey, Chris Harris, Peter King, Peyton Manning
Peter King on M&M: Colts QB Andrew Luck ‘not been averse to making some huge mistakes’ 01.10.14 at 1:31 pm ET
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Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the NFL playoffs and other league news. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Andrew Luck is drawing high praise as he leads the Colts into Foxboro for a divisional-round game Saturday night.

“I think most people look at him right now and think that he’s on his way to having a top-10, 20 quarterback career,” King said. “There’s a couple of reasons. He’s so precocious about the game, he knows so much about the game. His dad raised him in the game, because obviously his dad was a pro quarterback. I think he also learned the other side of the game also. He learned the team side, he learned you’re nothing without your teammates, and the media part of it doesn’t matter. ‘€¦ It’s just not in his pedigree right now to set himself apart from the crowd. So I think more than anything, Andrew Luck gets it.”

However, King said he isn’t convinced Luck will add to his growing legend Saturday.

“When you look back at his career, why I’m skeptical he’ll play one of his great games is, first of all, he’s gotten hit quite a bit this season, so I think the Patriots are probably going to be able to pressure him,” King said. “And secondly, I think if you take away T.Y. Hilton you’ll be able to do some good things against their passing game.

“He’s not been averse to making some huge mistakes. Look at the first half last week, where he was vastly outplayed by Alex Smith, then early in the third quarter. So, to me, I kind of look at him right now and just say I think he can be great any week. But I also think he’s going to still make mistakes ’cause he’s still learning the game.”

King said that this matchup could turn into a battle of the ground games.

“Everybody has sort of said, ‘If Andrew Luck can’t do it then they’re in huge trouble.’ But just look at Donald Brown — to me, anyway — in the last few weeks. He hasn’t run it a lot, but he’s run it very productively — high yards per rush; he’s averaged over five [5.3] for the year,” King said. “If I’m [offensive coordinator] Pep Hamilton and the Colts, I’m saying, look, I want Donald Brown and Trent Richardson to have very prominent roles in this game plan. In part because we’d like to keep it away from Tom Brady. And also in part because this team this year, the Patriots are vulnerable against the run. They’ve shown it week after week. They’re surrendering 4 1/2 a carry.

“And you understand because of the marquee value of quarterbacks, they’re making it out as an Andrew Luck-Tom Brady game. And it well could be. But I think it could also be a Donald Brown-Shane Vereen game as well. Or LaGarrette Blount.”

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Read More: Andrew Luck, Donald Brown, Drew Brees, Josh McDaniels
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