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Patriots’ owner brings 20 NFL veterans to Netanyahu who calls on them to block Obama’s Iran deal

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Robert Kraft, the owner of the champion New England Patriots, is a longtime supporter of Israel. Today he led a delegation of 20 former NFL players, many of them in the Hall of Fame, to Israel, where they met with PM Benjamin Netanyahu and he used the visit to inveigh against the Iran deal.

Patriots logo

Patriots logo

From the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the players, who wore their famous Hall of Fame Gold Jackets and many of whom are on their first visit to Israel, about the many challenges Israel faces, especially Iran’s efforts to achieve nuclear weapons.

“Iran is one yard away from the goal line. If they get nukes, the preeminent terrorist regime of our day will be armed with nuclear weapons. That’s dangerous for the United States and for Israel and for the entire world. And our effort today is to make sure that we block them and push them back, that’s the ultimate contest and the ultimate challenge, and I hope it was advanced somewhat by this visit…” the Prime Minister said.

The list is at the link. It includes Mel Blount, John Hannah, Tim Brown, Curley Culp, Thurman Thomas, Curtis Martin, Andre Tippett, and (a childhood hero) Raymond Berry,

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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39 Responses

  1. John O on June 22, 2015, 3:36 pm

    Bibi smiles!! Presumably because the football reminds him of a certain “Spy versus Spy” cartoon bomb.

    • eljay on June 22, 2015, 3:44 pm

      || John O: Bibi smiles!! Presumably because the football reminds him of a certain “Spy versus Spy” cartoon bomb. ||

      And maybe he’s looking forward to butt-slapping some football players and/or getting his butt slapped by them.

      • John O on June 22, 2015, 4:50 pm

        Puhleeeze. I’ve just had my supper!

    • on June 23, 2015, 2:48 pm

      The black players ought to know better. Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, and others in the 60s certainly understood systemic racism and took extremely courageous stands that put their careers and even their lives at risk. It is discouraging to see these guys dance to Kraft’s tune.

  2. JLewisDickerson on June 22, 2015, 3:48 pm

    RE: “Patriots’ owner brings 20 NFL veterans to Netanyahu who calls on them to block Obama’s Iran deal”

    MY COMMENT: I can’t help but wonder whether Patriots owner Bob Kraft and the 20 NFL verterans were accompanied by “Ricki”.

    SEE: “Meet Ricki Lander, 73-year-old Patriots owner Bob Kraft’s bombshell girlfriend of three years – a dancer turned actress who is half his age”, By Annabel Fenwick Elliott,, 30 January 2015
    • Ricki Noel Lander is a 34-year-old actress, fashion designer, former model and trained dancer
    • She has been dating Bob Kraft, 73, since the summer of 2012
    • The PBS correspondent is 16 years younger than Mr Kraft’s oldest son
    • The blonde recently designed a range of women’s sport merchandise for Fanatics, which sells NFL-branded clothing
    • In July 2012, Mr Kraft appeared with Miss Lander in a bizarre and widely mocked audition tape for the role of a pole dancer
    LINK –


  3. just on June 22, 2015, 3:49 pm

    Shame on those players! ;-(((

    Kraft and Netanyahu are beyond shameless. ‘Nuff said.

    • JWalters on June 22, 2015, 4:54 pm

      The war profiteers are getting desperate. Eventually those players will realize they were actually playing for the New England Traitors.

      • ziusudra on June 23, 2015, 1:44 am

        Greetings JWalters,
        Team Players of any Sport are bought & sold w/o their consent, basta.
        Said trip to Israel doesn’t necessary mean that these Players are Israel lovers. They must according to contract go along with anything their owners demand.
        What’s in it for the owner, Mr. Kraft?

  4. Memphis on June 22, 2015, 3:51 pm

    Here is another reason to despise the Patriots. NFL is boring to watch. ON average there is less than 12 minutes of action during an entire football game. Watch the highlights and you won’t miss a thing. Hockey, Baseball, Formula 1 and Golf is where it’s at!!!

    • ckg on June 22, 2015, 10:36 pm

      Worldwide, the most watched football game on Super Bowl Sunday was a regular season fixture between Chelsea F.C. and Manchester City F.C.

    • bryan on June 23, 2015, 2:45 am

      Totally agree with you about NFL which seems to be an advertising marathon interrupted by the briefest of athletic sprints, but ice hockey is as bad as the WWF in its manufactured confrontations, baseball is like draughts to the chess game of cricket, Formula I is a traffic jam of cars rotating on a circular track, golf is a great game but not a spectator sport, and you entirely omitted from your list the world’s greatest, most popular, classical game of football (soccer to you). If you want high speed pace, stamina and physicality try Rugby Union or Rugby League, or if you are restricted to American sports settle for the real skills and genuine excitement of going fishing.

      Why is it that the message to FIFA congress was that politics should not be allowed to intrude into sport, but Israel cynically exploits everything else for its crazy propagandizing?

    • CigarGod on June 23, 2015, 8:36 am

      Well, I love all sport…and all the hard work and passion people put into being the best. I have been fortunate to know many of our planets talented athletes, as well as those who mortgaged homes, lived in their cars, maxed out credit cards, etc. I even came to appreciate Rhythmic Dancers (we called them, The Bendies) …those tiny girls who wave long ribbons and toss balls high into the air. There is a ton of precision in that…sport. but, yeah…F-1 and tennis still rock my world. Kraft paid the guys well.

  5. Dan Crowther on June 22, 2015, 4:01 pm

    That ball looks deflated………

    Awwwwwww yeah!!!

  6. amigo on June 22, 2015, 4:12 pm

    I thought nietanyahu was being handsomely rewarded by Obama to keep his mouth shut about the “Iran deal”.

    Maybe he has the money(or F- 35,s ) already and is reneging on his promise to POTUS.

    You just cannot trust a zionist, ever.

  7. Citizen on June 22, 2015, 4:12 pm


  8. lysias on June 22, 2015, 4:27 pm

    What would have happened to a Patriots player who refused to sign?

  9. oldgeezer on June 22, 2015, 5:20 pm

    I realize that the US culture is quite different than here but I don’t tend to look to professional athletes for advice or leadership outside of their chosen sport. It’s only really been tried one time here using Gretzky and it didn’t swing the polls at all. I admire their abilities but being able to run, throw, catch or have 6 300lb guys lie on top of you without expiring doesn’t translate all that well into other areas of life.

    • Kris on June 22, 2015, 6:06 pm

      NFL players are likely to have cognitive deficits due to head injuries.

  10. just on June 22, 2015, 6:18 pm

    According to wiki, there are 295 inductees to the hall of fame. So 20 NFL dudes accepted the bribe.

    Does anyone really think that they’ll rally folks to the Netanyahu/Kraft plea?

    I don’t.

  11. diasp0ra on June 22, 2015, 6:41 pm

    This is actually kinda sad, haha.

    They are getting so desperate.

    • chocopie on June 22, 2015, 10:54 pm

      It does look very desperate. These people are not opinion leaders and most of them have probably not thought deeply about Zionism. They are older people who are famous for something they used to do. Being invited probably made them feel flattered. Zionism is all washed up.

  12. Brown-Eyed Girl on June 22, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Why did he do that?? Over 80% of NFL players are black. Yesterday, the wife of Israel’s prime minister made it quite clear what she thinks of our black president: Black and weak. I can only wonder what she thinks of those large, black football players. I can only hope none was mistaken for an illegal African migrant.

  13. ckg on June 22, 2015, 10:28 pm

    Well, golly Mr. Kraft, I get all my opinions on public affairs from pro football players. Tomorrow will you and your NFL athletes tell us what to to think about LGBT athletes? Nevermind, I don’t want to know.

  14. Ellen on June 23, 2015, 12:23 am

    This is like pathetic and sad,

  15. Marnie on June 23, 2015, 7:00 am

    Is this a ploy to “Americanize” ‘Yahoo and endear him to the American audience who are not on board with bombing Iran? The more American he looks, sounds, acts, etc., the more he doesn’t seem like a provocateur from a foreign gov’t wanting yet again more American soldiers to die for the zionist state so the zionists don’t have too? Everyone should be well aware that the IDF facing any army of fighting men would shit themselves as they only engage with civilian populations with lots of people under the age of 18. Bastards.

  16. Artemis on June 23, 2015, 8:42 am

    Yes, everyone knows that football players are well versed in geopolitics. Netanyahu is so utterly pathetic. What next…. ping pong players?

    • John O on June 23, 2015, 12:54 pm

      Actually, Chinese and American ping-pong players did make a great contribution to US/China detente back in Nixon’s day – it was about the only sport they had in common.

  17. RockyMissouri on June 23, 2015, 11:56 am

    Meanwhile, Palestinians are suffering.

  18. Boo on June 24, 2015, 12:21 pm

    Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. Just another illustration of thoughtlessly intermingling sports and war. We Americans could almost rewrite the famous aphorism, “War is simply the continuation of the Olympics by other means”…

    As for Bibi, no doubt he experienced a certain frisson at the opportunity to hang out with these hulks and perhaps join their organization as an honorary member, even if only as the flunky who washes their balls.

  19. just on June 25, 2015, 11:08 am

    “Hebrew in the huddle: U.S.-style football gains ground in Israel

    … But on Sunday evening, the laces briefly took center stage. A largely American crowd had gathered to greet 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame who were in Israel on a tour organized by Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and the sport’s benefactor in Israel.

    Kraft paid for the Jerusalem stadium that bears his name, and sponsors both the adult and high school tackle leagues. He’s also given widely to Jewish causes stateside, from sponsoring Columbia University’s Jewish student center to endowing chairs in Jewish studies at Boston College and Holy Cross College.

    “I lead my life according to the four F’s — at least phonetically,” Kraft told the crowd. “Family, faith, football and philanthropy. This trip has connected all those dots for me.”

    The event began with a men’s and women’s flag team scrimmage, which because of the truncated field turned into a parade of touchdowns. On the sidelines, boys in yarmulkes, ritual fringes and football jerseys mingled. Among them towered a broad man wearing a newsboy cap and a purple jersey that read “Big Mike.” The former college football player has been playing and coaching the sport in Israel for about a decade.

    But the cheers rose when the Hall of Famers emerged one by one through a gate accompanied by Kraft and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States and a former quarterback in Israel’s flag league. The delegation — all wearing the Hall of Fame’s trademark gold jackets — ranged from veterans of the 1960s league to recent retirees like Curtis Martin, a running back for the Patriots and the New York Jets.

    “To go to the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, being baptized was a highlight,” said Floyd Little, the retired Denver Broncos halfback who underwent the rite in the Jordan River while on the trip. “I can’t express the emotion that brought.”

    After a few speeches and introductions, the veterans lined up around the field’s perimeter, braving small mobs of fans, signing autographs and taking pictures.

    It almost felt like America. Until, that is, a rabbi approached Ron Mix, a Jewish offensive tackle who played mostly for the San Diego Chargers, laid tefillin on his arm and had him repeat the Shema prayer out loud, word after word.

    “I was surprised,” Mix said after the rabbi left. “I think it meant more to him than it did to me.””

    Mix nixes … whoopsie!

    • CigarGod on June 25, 2015, 11:24 am

      I admire sincere dedication to tradition and faith…when practiced with kindness. Unfortunately, there is an awful lot of unholy wrapped inside the holy…that the practitioners don’t even recognize. This is what Kraft is doing…but he is wrapping the holy in the unholy…and he knows it.

    • eljay on June 25, 2015, 11:32 am

      “I lead my life according to the four F’s — at least phonetically,” Kraft told the crowd. “Family, faith, football and philanthropy. This trip has connected all those dots for me.”

      Which of those “four F’s” includes Jewish supremacism in/and a supremacist “Jewish State” and all related past and on-going (war) crimes?

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