Kraft Appears on 'Today,' Lombardi Trophy in Hand - NECN

Kraft Appears on 'Today,' Lombardi Trophy in Hand

"This is our, I'm happy to say, fifth Super Bowl in the last 16 years"

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    Kraft Appears on 'Today,' Lombardi Trophy in Hand
    Getty Images
    Team owner of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after his team won Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017, in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft brought the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the "Today" show Monday.

    Kraft even brought "Today" host Matt Lauer, who got his start in journalism in Boston, a hat from the Super Bowl champions.

    It's the latest stop in a busy Super Bowl victory tour for Kraft — he was seen Friday at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate having dinner with the first family and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 

    Kraft is a longtime friend of the president's, but when asked by Lauer if that relationship is affecting his relationship with his players, some of whom said they won't go on the traditional White House visit, Kraft said that the link between sports and politics is being blown out of proportion this year.

    "This is our, I'm happy to say, fifth Super Bowl in the last 16 years, and every time we've had the privilege of going to the White House, a dozen of our players don't go," Kraft said. "This is the first time it's gotten any media attention."

    He cited players' previous national championships and family obligations. 

    "This is America, we're all free to do whatever's best for us. We're just privileged to be in a position to be going," Kraft added.