Bob Kraft does it again: NFL Hall of Famers coming to Israel
New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft (pictured here with his wife Myra a"h - may she rest in peace) will be bringing a group of 19 NFL Hall of Famers to Israel
later this week along with the former players' guests. Kraft is not only bringing them - he's picking up the bill (Hat Tip: Mike P
On Tuesday, a plane carrying Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Pro Football
Hall of Fame president David Baker and 19 Pro Football Hall of Famers
will leave for Israel.
The backstory: About a year ago, the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron
Dermer, visited Canton with his son and staff. Dermer, a Miami-born
former quarterback who is in the Israeli American Football Hall of Fame,
suggested they should arrange for some of the gold jackets to visit
Israel. Kraft, a champion of the NFL’s international efforts and sponsor
of the Israeli Football League, stepped in to make the idea happen,
starting with the funding (Kraft is paying for the trip, including
travel and accommodations for 19 Hall of Famers and their guests).
During the weeklong “Touchdown in Israel” trip, Baker and the Hall of
Famers will attend a scrimmage of the Israeli national team, which is
preparing for its first international competition, and host an event at
the Kraft Family Stadium, the American football facility in Jerusalem
that Kraft funded the construction of in 2000. There’s never been this
kind of trip, with this many Hall of Famers coming together as
international ambassadors for their sport and their country.
“Robert Kraft has a great heart for growing the game through the
world,” Baker says. “It’s a historic trip for the NFL, the Hall of Fame
and our game, and I hope it is the first of many. Politics causes
divides, but sports has an ability to unite.”
Among the Hall of Famers traveling: Andre Tippett, Tim Brown, Jim
Taylor, Mike Haynes, Jack Youngblood and Curtis Martin, who was a
regular guest at Kraft and his late wife Myra’s home for the Jewish
holidays during his Patiots career. The Krafts planted a tree in
Martin’s name during one of their philanthropic visits to Israel, which
the running back will get to see in person for the first time.
Martin says witnessing how the game is growing outside the U.S. will
be educational for him, as someone who’s been interested in breaking
into NFL ownership. The Hall of Famers will also have the chance to
visit religious landmarks and meet with Israeli government officials.
“We all need a different understanding of Israel,” Martin says. “And to
see it in this way, it could be the most significant trip any of us has
ever been on.”
Anyone know how to get tickets to the event at Kraft Family Stadium? It's here in Jerusalem....
Labels: Israel's football team, Myra Kraft, New England Patriots, Robert Kraft