The NFL has his latest controversy, with the breakthrough being that this time involves an owner rather than a player. Last Friday came the news that the police were accusing New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft of soliciting sex in a Florida massage center, something the authorities discovered while investigating an alleged ring for sexual trafficking. On Monday, the police issued a warrant for Kraft for two separate criminal charges. This turn of events created yet another controversy for a league already plagued by them and gave Roger Goodell the commissioner enlisted with the umpteenth challenge.
What is accused of doing Robert Kraft?
According to police reports, Kraft visited the living room on two separate occasions, one in particular on the day of last month's Patriots AFC game, and paid for a sexual act. In addition, the police claim to have video evidence of one of those meetings. Kraft faces two charges of solicitation to prostitution. If he is convicted, he risks up to a year in prison, a penalty of $ 5,000 and 100 hours of education and community service.
In response, Kraft spokesperson issued the following statement: "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft has been involved in illegal activities, because it is a judicial issue, we will not comment further."
How big is this agreement?
It could be a big problem. Ever since Kraft bought the patriots in 1994, saving them from a potential transfer, the team has become the NFL's most successful franchise. Under the leadership of trainer Bill Belichick, who was hired during Kraft's term, the team won six Super Bowl, including the most recent. For this reason, Kraft has become one of the most influential and high profile owners of the championship. When the NFL closed its block in 2011, many in the league recognized Kraft's efforts during the negotiation process.
Now, if this were just the business of a rich man who engages in the services of a prostitute, the accident could be considered more embarrassing for the league than anything else. However, officials say the Orchid of Asia Day Spa is involved in human trafficking. If this ends up being the case, and it must be emphasized that at the moment we only have the events of the order forces, it would be the story of one of the most powerful people in the NFL to be knowingly or not knowingly, with what amounts to modern slavery . This is a big problem and the championship should treat it like one.
How did the NFL react so far?
After the news was interrupted, the league issued a statement simply saying, "The NFL is aware of the current law issue and will continue to monitor developments."
Could the NFL eventually punish Kraft?
This is the question in the future. The league received a huge amount of criticism for its disciplinary policy with, for example, cases of domestic violence punished less severely than drug offenses. If there is clear evidence that Kraft is guilty, the NFL will have to punish him or risk opening up to legitimate charges of treating the most lenient owners over the players. It should also be noted that the league can issue punishment even if Kraft is not found guilty in court.
Goodell himself said that all members of the NFL must be treated the same way. When Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested for driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance in 2014, the NFL granted him a six-game suspension and a $ 500,000 penalty. When announced the decision, Goodell said: "On numerous occasions I have stated that owners, managerial staff and coaches must be held at a higher level than the players."
Has not the league punished patriots before?
Yes. In 2007, the league fined the $ 250,000 team and took away its first draw project after an investigation revealed that Belichick illegally registered the signs of the opponents. In addition, Belichick was also fined $ 500,000. In 2015, the team was fined $ 1 million and lost two draft picks, including another first rounder, after quarterback Tom Brady was caught using incorrectly deflated balls. Brady has also been suspended four games, a punishment that eventually served after a long court battle. Because this latest scandal does not directly involve the team – the allegations are about Kraft's private life – the Patriots are unlikely to be punished. the most probable punishment for Kraft would be a suspension and a fine, even if it does not hurt a man worth billions of dollars. Although, once again, the attempt to predict what Goodell and company will do when it comes to issuing punishment is extremely difficult.
Could Kraft eventually lose the team?
In an article for the New York Daily News, Jane McManus convincingly argues that if Kraft were to be found guilty, he should be banned from the league. McManus points out that the owner of Carolina Panthers Jerry Richardson has been practically forced to leave the league after allegations of sexual harassment and claims that this case would justify a similar result. "Goodell and all owners who do not want to be contaminated by these alleged actions must investigate and send a message," he writes, "you can not appeal to women if the owners exploit them without consequences, both in the field and in the field, as employees or even in their private lives. "
Second Michael McCann, Sports Illustrated legal expert, which is highly unlikely, as it would require the votes of 23 out of 31 eligible owners. McCann takes into account the possibility that Kraft can be persuaded to give control of his team to save face. The son of Kraft, Jonathan, who already plays an important role in the organization, would be the obvious successor.
What is the biggest picture here?
The case must be emphasized, it is much bigger than football. Kraft is just one of the hundreds who has been accused of soliciting prostitution as part of this investigation. There is a legitimate sporting story about how the NFL will address the issue, especially considering past failures when it comes to employees mistreating women. It should not, however, obscure the fact that the larger story seems to involve women who have been exploited and forced to work in terrible conditions. They are the real victims here and, in comparison, the trials and tribulations of an NFL team are irrelevant.