December 05, 2019
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NFL pledges to ‘take appropriate action’ in Robert Kraft case

Charlie Neibergall | AP
Charlie Neibergall | AP
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft walks on the field before the AFC Championship NFL football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots in Kansas City, Missouri, Jan. 20, 2019.

The NFL said Monday that it will “take appropriate action” under its personal conduct policy after it has “a full understanding of the facts” of the criminal case involving New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

Police in Jupiter, Florida, announced Friday that Kraft was being charged with solicitation of prostitution in connection with an investigation of massage parlors suspected of involvement in human trafficking.

[NFL commissioner has wide-ranging powers to discipline Robert Kraft]

“Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL,” the league said in a written statement. “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.”

A spokesperson for Kraft has denied the allegations, saying that the 77-year-old billionaire was not involved “in any illegal activity.”

Police said Kraft was being charged with misdemeanors after being videotaped on two occasions engaging in a sex act with an employee of the Orchids of Asia Day Spa.

The NFL’s personal conduct policy more commonly is applied to players accused, charged or convicted of criminal wrongdoing but also applies to all other employees and to owners of teams.

[Patriots owner Kraft denies charges of soliciting prostitute]

The league suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000 under the conduct policy in 2014. He had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after being arrested following a traffic stop. Irsay told a judge he was under the influence of painkillers when the traffic stop occurred.

Kraft long has been one of the NFL’s most successful and influential owners. The Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta earlier this month for their sixth Super Bowl title with Kraft as their owner, Bill Belichick as their coach and Tom Brady as their quarterback.

 



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