Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly were behind the decision of the owner of the New England Patriots to use the team airplane to transport families of victims in the Parkland shooting to Washington, D.C., for the March for Our Lives event on Saturday, Breitbart News has learned.
On Thursday, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft dispatched the team plane to Florida to fly the families of the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, and some of the students who were injured and survived the incident, to Washington, DC, for the “March For Our Lives.” But it turns out that gun control advocates were behind the effort to enlist the Patriots in the effort.
During a Saturday conversation with Breitbart Sports, Patriots Vice President of Media Relations Stacey James said that Patriots Owner Robert Kraft chose to lend his plane to the Parkland families at the request of former Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and her husband Mark Kelly.
In 2011, Giffords, was shot in the head by a deranged man outside of a grocery store in Arizona while she met with constituents. The shooting killed six people and injured 13 others. Since recovering from her injuries, Giffords has become a tireless proponent of gun control. She formed her own group titled Giffords’ Americans for Responsible Solutions and, in 2016, merged that group with the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
According to James, it was Kraft’s relationship with the Giffords that caused him to get involved.
“The Giffords’ reached out, Gabrielle and Mark Kelly,” James told Breitbart Sports. “Mr. Kraft has a very close friendship with the Giffords. They requested that Mr. Kraft use his plane to fly up the families of the victims.
The New England Patriots airplane is one of the most instantly recognizable aircraft in the NFL—not just because it is adorned in red, white, and blue, but also because its known as the plane that hauls one of the most successful franchises in NFL history all over the country.
“Mr. Kraft did it because he thought it was the right thing to do,” James told Breitbart Sports.
When asked if the Patriots were taking a political stand by flying the victims of a shooting to a march in support of gun control, James did say the Patriots are not supporting gun control.
“No. We are not politicizing this,” James said. “The Patriots are not taking a stance on gun control. Mr. Kraft did a favor for a friend, because he thought it was the right thing to do. That is the extent of it, we are not taking sides on this issue.”