Robert Kraft

USA Today

Bob Kraft's Weekend

Hate to ruin all your fun clones, but this story is not funny.

February 25, 2019 - 10:04 am

Just before the show started on Friday, the news broke that Patriots owner Robert Kraft was being charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution. 

At the time, the news was just breaking, the details were hazy, and I wanted to reserve judgment. I didn’t want to overreact to a report or a piece of news, fly off at the handle and say something that I’d later regret. I wanted to wait until more information came in. 

So on Friday, I said that my take on the whole thing was: THE HELL IS THAT? THE….HELL….IS…THAT?!

And now, after having Friday afternoon, all of Saturday, and all of Sunday to think about it, my take on the whole thing now is….THE….HELL…IS….THAT?!

Did that really happen? Did Robert Kraft, the 77-year-old owner of the New England Patriots, really get charged with two counts of soliciting prostitution? Did he really get caught going to a scummy day spa in a strip mall in Jupiter, Florida? And that if convicted, could he really face multiple months in jail? Was he really caught as part of a larger sting operation that involves more than 100 people and allegations of human trafficking?

Yes. And it led to headlines like "Kraft American Sleaze" from the Daily News and countless jokes related to Deflategate and zany one-liners about Super Bowl rings and prostitution rings. 

Now, it is worth reminding everyone that a spokesperson for Kraft said: "We categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity. Because it is a judicial matter, we will not be commenting further.”

Makes sense. Standard operating procedure. The next time someone’s spokesperson admits their client’s guilt immediately will be the first. 

Then again, the police claim that they have video footage receiving what has been referred to as “paid acts” on two separate occasions at the spa. 

So someone on one side or the other has some explaining to do. Either there is video of Kraft or there isn’t. And if he was thinking of arguing that he had no idea that kind of activity happened at the spa and he was shocked to learn about it, well, it’s kind of hard to make that argument when you go back a second time. Allegedly.

Kind of hard to say, “Your honor, I was going there for a massage. I had a knot in my back that needed to be worked on and some things happened that I did not ask for and did not know about,” I mean, sure it ended happily, but I didn’t know that was going to happen. And that certainly wasn’t why I went there, your honor. Really, old man, then why did you go back a second time. Allegedly.   

So what do you do on Saturday if you were just charged with soliciting prostitution on Friday? If you’re Kraft, you allegedly hit up a pre-Oscars party. Sure. Makes sense. Why not?

And, according to one timeline, the Palm Beach County state attorney’s office may official file charges against Kraft today, which could lead to the creation of a warrant for his arrest or at the very least, according to WBZ in Boston, a summons sent to Kraft “ordering him to turn himself in.”

So to recap the weekend: Friday – accused of soliciting prostitution. Saturday – pre-Oscars party. And potentially Monday – officially charged and summoned to turn yourself in.

That’s having yourself a weekend!

Then again, if the timeline provided by the Jupiter Police Chief is accurate, the incidents took place within the last month, which means that in the last month: Robert Kraft watched his team win another Super Bowl and solicited a sex worker at a day spa in a strip mall, not once, but twice. That is one hell of a month. 

Oh, and as for that report from Adam Schefter that Kraft wasn’t the biggest name involved, a spokesperson for the state attorney’s office told Deadspin: “Nobody around here has any idea what [Schefter] is referring to.” First, Condie Rice is going to coach the Browns and now this. But let’s wait and see; maybe a bigger name does emerge. Just like ultimately maybe Condie Rice will coach the Browns, although I think my man, Freddie Kitchens, America’s coach has this thing wired.

But let’s get back to Kraft for a moment. 

It is completely insane that Robert Kraft, the man at the top of the greatest dynasty in NFL history, is the guy getting busted for going to a day spa in a strip mall not once, but twice. It is the kind of thing that people are going to make jokes about for weeks. I’m still hearing about Art Modell getting out of the shower and that happened decades ago. And yes, people in the area are going to rush to that strip mall to take selfies. Because that’s how this works. 

Let’s remember something – some of the allegations involved in the larger case are hideous. And disgusting. According to Sports Illustrated: “The alleged traffickers are accused of forcing women into sexual servitude at 10 different massage parlors in Orlando, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, all of which have been shut down. Kraft is one of 25 suspects who allegedly paid for sexual acts by women who had been forced to serve in the parlors.”

So if you want to come in and argue that it’s just a sad old man looking for something and that we shouldn’t punish that between two willing adults, hold that thought for a moment. Because as I mentioned on Friday, according to Treasure Coast Newspapers, police claim that “women, many of them from China, lived inside [the parlor] and were not permitted to leave.”

The allegation is that it’s not an activity between two willing adults, but between a client and a woman allegedly being held in the parlor against her will. If that’s true, that’s hideous. That’s disgusting. That’s shameful. That’s inhumane. If that’s true, that destroys the idea that these are two willing adults. That’s not someone soliciting a prostitute, that’s someone soliciting a sex slave. 

If this is true, he’ll be mocked and joked about for years to come. But if the women in the spa were held there against their will and not allowed to leave, as is alleged, then mocking Kraft won’t be nearly enough.

Hate to ruin all your fun clones, but this story is not funny. Unless you happen to find humor in human trafficking. And slavery. Because that’s what this story is really about.  Not the billionaire owner of the patriots looking to get off in a strip mall.