SBD/January 12, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Robert Kraft, Woody Johnson Make Appearances On Non-Sports Programs

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Patriots Owner ROBERT KRAFT and Jets Owner WOODY JOHNSON, two of the more prominent NFL team owners, made separate appearances this morning on non-sports shows. Kraft was on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” via satellite, talking about his role in ending the lockout last summer. He said, “We're privileged that we were able to work as a group to get a 10-year labor deal. It's unheard of, and we promised the leader of the union (NFLPA Exec Dir DEMAURICE SMITH), who worked so closely with Commissioner (ROGER) GOODELL, that if we could get a 10-year deal with no opt-outs we would go out and make sure we created an environment where the players would be the biggest beneficiaries. We were able to consummate television deals for nine years with all the major networks.” Kraft added, “It's really a lesson for America that we were able to sit down and have a dialogue and mutual respect. I just relate it to what's going on in Washington now, where you know it's too much about the red team or the blue team and not enough about the red, white and blue team. We're living in an environment where the vitriol and the personal attacks, we're not putting America first and the country is getting hurt, and it's very disturbing to me to see that. The NFL is a good example of when you have cooperation on both sides what can happen. I think it's so important to America and we know for the next decade we have labor peace, we have a strong business model and all sides benefit and we have to see that happen in Washington” (“Squawk Box,” CNBC, 1/12).

BREAKING IN A NEW MITT: Johnson was introduced on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” by co-host Mika Brzezinski first as a “MITT ROMNEY supporter,” then the owner of the Jets. Johnson said of Romney winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night, “That’s kind of unprecedented for a non-incumbent to do what he did and especially kind of going away from the pack, it’s very impressive.” Johnson said he likes Romney’s “demeanor” and is “increasingly impressed by the way he handles himself and his staff.” Meanwhile, Johnson said he has “never heard” Jets QB MARK SANCHEZ described as “lazy” and that he has “regressed,” as several anonymous teammates have said recently. Johnson: “He’s the first guy in the building every morning and the last guy to leave. … He’s an NFL quarterback. I mean, that’s what you expect from an NFL quarterback.” Johnson emphatically stated that he is not rooting for the Giants this weekend in their playoff game against the Packers, stating, “We’re rooting for ourselves. We got a lot of work to do” (“Morning Joe,” MSNBC, 1/12).
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