NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke to the media following the news that the players had unanimously voted to approve the labor deal with the owners ending the NFL lockout.
Kraft is among the most influential owners and he was also the first to take the opportunity to apologize to the fans.
"First of all, on behalf of both sides, I want to apologize to fans that for the last 5-6 months we've been talking about the business of football and not what goes on on the field and building the teams in each market. The end result is that we have an agreement that is going to allow this sport to flourish over the next decade and we've done that in a way that's unique among the major sports in that every team, all 32j, will be competitive. We've improved player safety and we've remembered the players who played in the past.
"I want to give a special compliment to Commissioner Goodell and De Smith. The Commissioner has to deal with 32 tough and demanding owners and he's been able to take that balance. De Smith comes in, and he has to manage 1,900 players, a bunch of different professionals. It's a new CBA with tricky language and he was able to keep all those things going and come up with an agreement that he and Roger did together with their two teams."
Perhaps the most touching moment in the press conference came when Jeff Saturday remembered Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft's wife, who passed away last week. Saturday said without Kraft involved, the deal doesn't get done. I'm not sure there's a higher compliment you could pay someone following a labor negotiation.