While most football fans in Maine will have their eyes glued to their television screens Sunday night to watch the New England Patriots play the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI, one notable Mainer, Gov. Paul LePage, said he won’t be watching.

LePage, who has previously said he’s no fan of the New England Patriots, repeated Thursday during his weekly radio appearance with WGAN’s Matt Gagnon and Ken Altshuler that he doesn’t like Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft, nor does he agree with some of the team’s management decisions.

“I don’t like to watch the Patriots,” LePage said. “There’s a couple of reasons of why I can’t root for the Patriots and it has nothing to do with the people on the football field.”

LePage said he has problems with how Kraft conducts business, including when he appeared ready to move the team to Hartford, Connecticut, in the late 1990s, but then backed out; and the team’s willingness to sign former tight end Aaron Hernandez, who was later convicted of murder, in 2015.

“I think Tom Brady is one of the most fantastic quarterbacks that’s ever going to play the game,” LePage said.

He also said he liked coach Bill Belichick. “Probably bar none, I think he’s the best coach in football,” LePage said.

But LePage faults Kraft’s business ethics.

“His ethics of business are well beyond mine and I just can’t accept it,” LePage said. “And I can’t accept the fact that they took Hernandez knowing the problem that he had. We knew he was a bad guy from the get-go but they still took him on. They knew he was just a moving time bomb.”

Scott Thistle can be contacted at:

[email protected]


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