With no real news regarding the Robert Kraft case, the NFL has nudged the cycle forward with a fresh statement regarding the situation.
“Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL,” the league said. “We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy. We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.”
So what’s the point of the new statement, issued out of the blue on a Monday morning? The goal could be to remind anyone and everyone that, no matter what the league does, the league won’t be doing anything until the criminal justice system concludes its work. That’s consistent with the NFL’s approach to players; the league won’t conduct its own investigation until the relevant authorities have closed the case.
When the case is closed, the league then will step in. Given the nature of the charges, and given the fact that the facility in question may have been staffed by victims of human trafficking (whether Kraft knew that or not), the Commissioner may feel compelled to impose a significant punishment. Especially since the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy says this: “Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of the Personal Conduct Policy occur.”
It’s too early to know what the punishment will be. It’s safe to say that, no matter what the Commissioner does, some will think he was too lenient and others will think he was too harsh. Maybe the right outcome will be the one that balances those two factions the best.