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Emotional Robert Kraft: Junior Seau a 'true Patriot'

Posted by Mike Whitmer, Globe Staff  May 3, 2012 01:26 PM

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FOXBOROUGH -- Patriots owner Robert Kraft, fighting back tears, read a note that Junior Seau sent him last year, a few weeks after Myra Kraft passed away. Kraft met with the media at Gillette Stadium today, sharing his memories on the former Patriots linebacker, who died yesterday of an apparent suicide.

"Junior was one of those special people who came through our locker room," Kraft said. "We always knew his real family, he was really a Charger. Even when he was here we knew in the end he would be a Charger; but we were pretty close first cousins, because the years he spent here we felt like he was a true Patriot."

Kraft held a note, with the logo of Seau's charitable foundation on the front, and read what the 12-time Pro Bowler said, struggling at times to keep his composure.

"I went back to my records, because having suffered the loss of my sweetheart, he sent me something within a few weeks of Myra passing. He said, ‘I’m so sorry about the passing of Mrs. Kraft, she was an inspiration to me. I have so much respect for all she did to help people lead better lives. I’ll always be there for you and your family. Junior Seau – Love you, buddy,’ and he enclosed a very generous check to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund.

"So here’s a guy who represented everything that we liked, how he conducted himself in an unselfish manner, in the locker room."

Kraft said he marveled at Seau's ability as a motivational speaker in team meetings and in the locker room, and recalled always seeing him after games.

"Nobody ever squeezed me harder after every game and hugged me in the locker room. He just really was a special guy.

"It’s a message to all of us, to make sure we hug and squeeze the people we love. The people you love, make sure they know it every day."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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