NFL issues new statement in Robert Kraft case

AP

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.

92 responses to “NFL issues new statement in Robert Kraft case

  1. “We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy.”

    So, it will be a full-on cluster-cluck?

  2. Zeke never even had charges filed, but that didn’t stop
    Roger. Jerry Richardson lost his team and there were no charges filed.
    Let the Patriot double standard begin!

  3. In today’s political climate, I don’t see how Kraft continues to be a franchise owner if these allegations prove to be true. The outside pressure on the NFL from #metoo and other groups will be enormous.

  4. “Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL,”
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    The first sentence from the NFL is an outright lie. If that were the case, then there wouldn’t be widely varying punishments for similar transgressions that we see all the time.

  5. 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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    You mean like Bart Scott who on Friday was calling for the Pats to forfeit every draft pick in the 2019 draft? When the Patriots are involved, rest assured the crybabies come out in full force.

  6. “So what’s the point of the new statement, issued out of the blue on a Monday morning?”

    Perhaps this part? -“applies equally to everyone in the NFL”

    There are many fans who forget from time to time that off-field conduct for coaches and owners is handled under the same policy that the league applies to players.

  7. When the Patriots are involved, rest assured the crybabies come out in full force.

    So are registering as the first Patriot Crtbaby? Kraft needs to get a year off and issue a public apology.

  8. Nofoolnodrool says:
    February 25, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Kraft needs to get a year off and issue a public apology.
    ——————————————————————————————————————————-
    I actually agree with you.

  9. Everyone needs to chill out. Let the man pay his $250 fine and move on. He has suffered embarrassment; that’s enough. This is the same as a speeding ticket in the eyes of the law.

  10. If he is suspended from the league is he still making money from owning the franchise? What is the point of the suspension than?

  11. As if Kraft did not look ridiculous enough with his 30-something girlfriend. Like a walking cliche.

    Punishing owners doesn’t mean much because the dollars are insignificant and the direct contact with the team may be minimal. I think the blow to his image will be the biggest punishment.

  12. This is kind of his third strike. With spy-gate and deflate-gate. Kraft has a history of skirting the rules. The Commish needs to come down hard on him.

  13. I still do not understand those who criticize the league for issuing punishments even if criminal charges are not filed. When are these people going to learn that it doesn’t matter under the personal conduct policy. If you want to claim that’s unfair, then what you are really saying is the players negotiated a bad deal on this part of the CBA.

  14. If Roger Goodell was even an average leader he would force the Pats to be sold. Enough is enough for this team of cheaters and so forth. Step up NFL. It’s only your integrity at stake.

  15. Kraft will get what Irsay got, which is fair. He should probably hand the reins to his son Jonathan and fade away, JK has been doing everything outside of public relations for a few yrs anyway.

  16. NFL is always quick to punish individuals, but they seem to be completely ok with allowing their poorly trained refs from changing the outcome of the playoffs. Where is their own accountability?

  17. “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”

    And therein lies the problem, you’re a professional sports league. Not a tribunal. If the NFL had just set the precedent that the league would follow what the legal outcomes are in these cases, they wouldn’t have to be worried about being mired in mud.

  18. It doesn’t matter what happens to Kraft, Bill runs the football part. So if Kraft sits out a year, it doesn’t take away from anything. What does Bill need Ol Bobby for that Jonathan can’t do?

  19. He’ll get a suspension and fine. Anyone who thinks they’ll force the Krafts to sell the team, take draft picks which are only taken when competitive infractions come into play or the team banned from post season play over 2 misdemeanor charges is dreaming

  20. Under oath Robert kraft was asked what he did for the Patriots organization, His answer was “what ever I am told to do”. I found this both humorous and truthful. Hes 77 years.

    All the haters that are insisting of a year or more suspension, better sell the team, or be removed from ownership…The joke is on you, everyone around him except Bob kraft has been running the team. The media and critics have positioned this misdemeanor violation ( think littering or traffic violation) as some sort of human trafficing and felony.

    Yes he may get punished by the NFL but it really won’t amount to anything. The embarassment has been enough and he has no prior history of anything, but generosity.

  21. I think some of us are missing the big picture. Soliciting for prostitution is one thing if it was an undercover cop. However, this crosses over into the underground sex trafficking organizations that Has become a hot topic today. People of means and power exploiting illegalized citizens over our borders for their sexual gratification. Now it’s not like Kraft ordered them and has them chained up in his study but someone of his status gettin g caught up in something like this is just awful. The NFL recently has come down hard on players in certain situations and I’m dying to see at the very least, if the same punishments apply to owners.

  22. No NFL player has ever been fined or suspended by the league for solicitation. NONE. There has been more than a few that have been caught over the years, but nothing happened to those players.

    The double standard would be if Kraft gets penalized when every previous player escaped league punishment.

  23. NE fans still justifying this. Sad.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    Who is justifying anything? We just like to deal in reality here. Kraft is charged with two misdemeanors – that’s it. A hefty fine and a short suspension should take care of it. Irsay was charged with 4 felony counts and got a slap on the wrist. Calls for him to sell the team or sit out a year are ludicrous.

    Regardless, this will only fuel the fire for BB and TB. I’d put my money on a repeat.

  24. coachmike327 says:
    February 25, 2019 at 10:58 am
    Everyone needs to chill out. Let the man pay his $250 fine and move on. He has suffered embarrassment; that’s enough. This is the same as a speeding ticket in the eyes of the law.
    ———————————————————————————-

    Really?
    How many times have you or someone you know been arrested for a speeding ticket?
    Not the same.

  25. This whole story is actually really sad. Since Kraft’s wife passed in 2011, he has slowly but surely spiraled into outright buffoonery.

  26. Funny how the NFL will wait until the justice system has completed its due process. But then ignores any decision the justice system may have made regarding the matter.

    In particular I’m reminded of Zeke Elliott. Never charged, no legal decisions against him. Yet the NFL suspended him for nearly half a season.

    If Kraft is guilty- either in the American justice system or the NFL’s, he should have to sell the team.

  27. I’m really concerned now. The previous Panthers owner lost his team for far less. I hope Mr Kraft is not forced to sell the team. He has been the greatest owner in the history of the league.

  28. Robert Kraft is still the best owner in the NFL. He lets Belichick run the team. The same can’t be said for Jerry Jones and Al Davis. Unlike the Rooney family, he’s not going to keep you around no matter how much you fail season after season. Although the dynasty doesn’t happen without both Brady and Belichick, Kraft was the guy who hired Belichick. If worse comes to worst, Johnathan will take over.

  29. Same punishment as Jim Esray A 500 thousand fine and 6 game suspension but Kraft will be wise to let his son handle the Patriots for an entire season due to the embarrassment he has caused on himself and the organization.

  30. ‘Embarrassment’ is not a significant punishment in the eyes of the law, so you can all stop with that narrative. Kraft will likely be fined for his indiscretion, and needs to be fined and suspended by the league. At this point he would be smart to turn over running the team to his son, and step into the background.

  31. Well if Richardson has to sell his team without criminal charges being filed I would suggest that Kraft needs to start searching for a buyer himself.

  32. steelerfanjo says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:11 am
    If Roger Goodell was even an average leader he would force the Pats to be sold. Enough is enough for this team of cheaters and so forth. Step up NFL. It’s only your integrity at stake.

    ************************************

    So, should the other 200 people who were caught in this sting also lose their jobs and livelihood, or should it just be Kraft because he happens to own a team that you don’t like?

    As someone stated above, it’s a misdemeanor that he’s being charged with while Irsay was charged with 4 felonies – why should punishment be harder in this situation?

  33. How is suspending an owner punishment? He’s still a billionaire. He just can’t interact with his team. So, he watches on TV like the rest of us, eating nachos and drinking beer.

  34. If it’s proven Kraft went 2 or more times to this strip mall massage parlor then he’s guilty of aiding and abetting human trafficking and there’s no coming back from that. but the NFL isn’t going to be drastic and force Kraft to sell the team or make him seek counseling… he’s getting a slap on the wrist, a stern warning and that’s about it

  35. If the allegations are true, his charges are soliciting prostitutes (2 charges) that were part of a human trafficking ring. I am still betting on a slap on the wrist from the NFL.

  36. There are likely, allegedly, so many back channel political influences regarding Kraft, he wont get more than a slap on the wrist. He wins again, everything but his reputation.

  37. moun10mama says:
    February 25, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    If it’s proven Kraft went 2 or more times to this strip mall massage parlor then he’s guilty of aiding and abetting human trafficking and there’s no coming back from that

    ———-

    So if a guy is caught 2 or more times smoking weed is he guilty of aiding and abetting a drug cartel?

  38. yaz67 says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:25 am
    He needs to lose the team. Case closed.

    ——

    No, he doesn’t. That’s asinine and reactionary anti-Patriot rhetoric. If this story was about most other owners in the NFL, it would be buried on the 6th page somewhere and would be strictly an NFL story only for a little while.

    Not condoning what he did, but let’s have some perspective here.

    6 games, $500,000, and an apology with some positive action items on his part relative to the situation.

  39. Sad day up here in NE.

    A man whom many love and admired now in a lurid mess of his own doing.

    Shame…. he brought on his family name.

    Still Love my patriots but this is a dark day…..

    Forgive the sinner and move on…. for I am not a judge…. and can not toss the first stone.

  40. There is no system in place. Kraft may rest easy. 1,000,000 fine is nothing. Sounds huge, but perspective is in order. Suspension means nothing at all. There are lines of communication if needed. But Coach runs this entire operation.

  41. thecape15 says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:06 am
    Jerry Richardson lost his team and there were no charges filed.

    ———-

    He retired before charges were brought, didn’t he?
    ————–

    Retiring from your job doesn’t make you exempt from the law. If that was the case, “going postal” would be way easier if you just had to quit before charges were filed..

  42. “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.”

    I disagree with what you are writing here Mike but I have a feeling even you are saying this with a bit of satire. Well played!

  43. terripet says:
    February 25, 2019 at 10:51 am
    Take the team away

    —————

    Kraft is cited for 2 misdemeanors. Irsay was cited for 4 felonies. Should the NFL take the Colts away too?

  44. killerquails says:
    February 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm
    There is no system in place. Kraft may rest easy. 1,000,000 fine is nothing. Sounds huge, but perspective is in order. Suspension means nothing at all. There are lines of communication if needed. But Coach runs this entire operation.

    ———————-
    Plus Jonathan Kraft runs the Kraft group who on paper are the legal owners of the team. They can ask Kraft to step away from being the face of the whole thing, but if they try anything deeper they will run into a legal quagmire.

  45. I say, suspend Kraft. Then, everyone can watch as the Patriots win their 7th lombardi trophy after Super Bowl LIV. When Brady was suspended, the Patriots won the super bowl. When Julian Edelman was suspended, the Patriots won the super bowl. When they were caught with filming in the wrong location with spygate, they became the first team in NFL history to win 18 consecutive games in a single season.

  46. mrbigass says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:06 am
    A one year suspension and a one million dollar fine. Change my mind….
    —————————————–
    You’re 2 days away from retiring with a pension. Your union contract with the company you work for has a clause allowing the company to terminate employment and pension for any arrest and conviction. You get caught doing exactly what Kraft did. Company terms your employment and pension. Fair?

  47. williamshatnerstoupee says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:33 am
    NE fans still justifying this. Sad.

    ——————-
    Whats really sad are all the guys that look at this thing and simply say “what can they do that would help my team” and then start pushing that. The human trafficing aspect of all this matters not to them at all, just how it can be used to help their team.

  48. A very sad story, all the way around. But easily the worst and most inappropriate hot take from some Pats fans is how this will lead to a 7th ring.

  49. Given Kraft has issued a statement that he has not done anything illegal, hypothetically, what happens if the police are unable to prove he paid for anything or end up not having a video of him doing anything illegal and the he either beats the charges or they are dropped.

    Yet everyone knows he was definitely there.

    Can he be punished or not?

  50. @steaksandwichandsteaksandwich says:
    February 25, 2019 at 11:06 am
    As if Kraft did not look ridiculous enough with his 30-something girlfriend. Like a walking cliche.

    Punishing owners doesn’t mean much because the dollars are insignificant and the direct contact with the team may be minimal. I think the blow to his image will be the biggest punishment.
    ======================================================================================
    I don’t think his image was blown…………………just sayin

  51. What he did has ZERO to do with the team or game play. Anyone suggesting ridiculous stuff such as losing draft picks or his team is just a hater. I’m guessing it will be around the same that Irsay got even though Kraft wasn’t endangering anyone’s life. It does drag the league into it though when it’s best franchise owner gets caught in a rub and tug joint.

  52. billsrthefuture says:
    February 25, 2019 at 1:50 pm

    A very sad story, all the way around. But easily the worst and most inappropriate hot take from some Pats fans is how this will lead to a 7th ring.

    ________________________________________________________

    If you’ve been paying any attention the last five years, it’s not that strange of a prediction. Brady and Belichick make the best out of nothing. The Patriots seem to work even harder when they’re trying to overcome any hardships. It’s not like they have the league-high 12 draft picks in this upcoming NFL draft. Oh wait, they do.

  53. February 25, 2019 at 11:06 am
    Jerry Richardson lost his team and there were no charges filed.

    ———-

    He retired before charges were brought, didn’t he?
    ————–

    Retiring from your job doesn’t make you exempt from the law.

    ————

    I agree. But you said that Richardson lost his team and he didn’t.

  54. There’s some posters on here who have claimed no player or players have gotten busted for simliar offense. That is not true at all. There have been quite a few.

  55. My suspicions are Johnathan may take over sooner then later. Sure he’s not happy with his dad who’s been hitting the Scotch harder these days then he used to.

  56. Irsay situation involved multiple felonies and a woman dying. Kraft shouldn’t get more than he did. Kraft was an idiot and should get a suspension/fine and give a sizable donation to an appropriate charity.

  57. One of his buddies told him about the place, he goes in for the full service, not even thinking about it being illegal. There is zero chance he knew what was really going on behind the scenes.

    Maybe the NFL wants to lead the charge on ending human trafficking. Sure is packed in the Super Bowl host cities for two weeks each year. Be a part of change ,not just ignoring the real problem here.

    If he had gone to future NFL city,Las Vegas, he wouldn’t have been in trouble.

  58. Why does everyone assume he’s guilty of the charge? Their statement said he did nothing illegal, I give him the benefit of doubt until/if charges are proven.

  59. wintercoates87 says:
    February 25, 2019 at 2:16 pm
    There’s some posters on here who have claimed no player or players have gotten busted for simliar offense. That is not true at all. There have been quite a few.

    ———

    Would be interested to know who, when and what the punishment was. Particularly recent occurrences.

  60. This whole thing sounds phony from the get-go. A billionaire going to a strip-mall massage parlor for sex? An 8 month investigation into sex trafficking? That doesn’t sound like the police are too worried about the welfare of the girls. Could this be a setup with Roger’s little fingerprints on it from the beginning?

  61. The ‘based on the facts’ bit is what’s key.
    There will be a very obvious probability to everyone outside of NE, but the facts may be weak, giving Kraft and the NFL an out.

  62. Chill_Donahue says:
    February 25, 2019 at 2:20 pm
    Irsay situation involved multiple felonies and a woman dying.
    __________________________
    Making stuff up doesn’t make it true.

  63. The people here crying for his head over a misdemeanor are STAGGERING. It is embarrassing, but he’s not losing his team if a coked out Irsay only got a slap on the wrist for having all that stuff in his car and a dead hooker at his place.

    Richardson had to sell the team because of WORKPLACE misconduct. This is a terrible look for Kraft, but he can use it as an excuse to fade out of the day to day limelight and let Jonathan take over. The public shame and embarrassment are almost the worst thing that could be done to him outside of TMZ buying the video and running it non-stop on their website.

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