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Patriots owner releases statement in response to Trump's national anthem comments

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft answers questions during opening night for the NFL Super Bowl 51 football game at Minute Maid Park Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Patriots owner Robert Kraft released a statement Sunday morning in response to President Donald Trump’s remarks about players kneeling during the national anthem, while speaking at a rally in Alabama Friday night.

The statement reads:

"I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday. I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities. Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics. I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

Numerous NFL owners have also released statements since the remarks, condemning them.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last year when he played for the San Francisco 49ers, refusing to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" to protest the treatment of black people by police. Kaepernick became a free agent and has not been signed by a new team for this season.

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