On Wednesday, the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft were stricken with some very sad news, as Kraft's longtime wife, Myra Hiatt Kraft, passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 68 years old.
The Krafts have always had a strong relationship with their players, and that connection was brought to the public eye on Wednesday as many former and current Patriots players shared their thoughts about Myra Kraft, or as Vince Wilfork likes to call her, "momma".
"Mr. Kraft and I spoke a lot over the years about 'Momma,' and I hurt for him as I know the love he has for her," said defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who has been with the franchise since 2004. "I will miss her giving me a hug and kiss before every game, but in my heart she will be there. Myra was a wonderful woman. My wife and I cared about her deeply. It goes beyond football. It goes to what matters in life, being able to build relationships and make a difference." (via ESPN Boston)
Kraft was like a mother to so many Patriot players, including Ty Law and Drew Bledsoe. Law said that Myra Kraft didn't view her and her husband's football team as employees, she viewed them as family.
"Myra Kraft was a beautiful human being inside and out, very genuine, passionate and giving to so many people and to so many causes," said cornerback Ty Law, who was with the team from 1995-2004. "My fondest memories of Mrs. Kraft are how she always made you feel at ease. She was so humble and nurturing on every encounter, she made us all feel like an extension of her family. We were like her sons." (via ESPN Boston)
Possibly no other player had summed up what she meant to the Patriots better than Bledsoe, who was with the Patriots from 1993 until 2001. Like so many other players, Bledsoe truly admires the many good things Mrs. Kraft did for the Patriots football family in her lifetime.
"The superlatives that go with Myra Kraft are many," he said. "To me, what I noticed through her charitable endeavors and just her attitude toward life, is that she inspired people around her to be better people." (via ESPN Boston)