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Roger Goodell not worried about attending opener at Gillette Stadium

Roger Goodell not surprisingly is widely considered as a persona non grata at Gillette Stadium. But that won’t stop the NFL commissioner from attending the New England Patriots’ home opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Goodell on Monday confirmed he will in fact be in attendance at the 2017 NFL season kickoff game on Thursday, Sept. 7. What’s more, Goodell insists he’s not worried about showing his face in Foxborough despite the near certainty he won’t receive a warm welcome.

Newsday’s Bob Glauber reported the scoop via Twitter.

Goodell avoided attending a playoff game at Gillette Stadium last season, instead opting to attend consecutive Falcons games in Atlanta. The animosity towards Goodell obviously is inspired by his integral role in the Deflategate saga, which culminated in the NFL punishing the Patriots, a move that included a four-game suspension of Tom Brady to open the 2016 season.

Shortly after the Patriots mounted a historic comeback in Super Bowl LI to beat the Falcons in overtime, Goodell said he would return to Gillette Stadium should the Patriots extend an invitation. Goodell also insisted in June his relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft “was never strained” despite the protracted Deflategate investigation.

Whether that is indeed the case or not, it looks like Goodell will finally face the vitriol from Patriots fans on Sept. 7. Where it goes from there is unknown, but Goodell probably had to confront the situation sooner or later.

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