In late February, 77-year-old New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was the most famous individual within a group of dozens of men caught up in a bust of several massage parlors that were said to have offered sex acts in exchange for payment.
While police described the bust as a blow against an international human trafficking operation, no one associated with the bust has been brought up on trafficking charges, per The Inquisitr, and Kraft faces only a pair of charges for solicitation.
Even so, an open letter was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday — per EndSexualExploitation.org — urging that the league banish Kraft from team ownership if it’s determined that he solicited sex.
The letter is signed by more than 60 anti-exploitation and anti-trafficking organizations, as well as by 19 survivors of sexual exploitation. The letter is written under the headline “RE: Robert Kraft, Owner, New England Patriots—Normalization of and Participation in Sexual Exploitation of Women.”
The letter calls for an NFL personal conduct investigation into Kraft, and “if the results of said investigation show Mr. Kraft to have engaged in the purchase of women for sex, the NFL must banish Mr. Kraft from team ownership because men who purchase others for sex inflict inestimable amounts of human suffering on those they exploit for sex.”
The letter, which was posted to the website of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), goes on to argue that payment for sex is, by its very nature, coercive and exploitative. The missive continues, claiming that while the NFL has previously suspended players for a number of games for most similar violations, Kraft’s alleged activities — due to the “aggravating circumstances of his behavior” — justify Kraft being potentially barred from ownership of an NFL team.
Signatories of the letter include the leaders of such organizations as Breaking the Silence Together, More Too Life, Veronica’s Voice, Survivors For Solutions, Breaking Free, Freedom From Exploitation, Inc., Survivor Leader Network, and DIGNITY House.
Several individual activists also signed the letter. However, the belief among some activists that prohibition of prostitution is the best way to deal with the problem of sex trafficking is far from a consensus opinion. Some activists also question the conventional wisdom that each year’s Super Bowl is a unique hotbed of sex trafficking, per CNN.
According to Variety, the NCOSE is considering making a similar request of The Overwatch League, in which Kraft owns a team called the Boston Uprising. Kraft also owns the New England Revolution, a Major League Soccer team.
On Tuesday, NBC Sports Boston reported that prosecutors have offered to drop charges against Kraft and other defendants — if they admit that they would have been found guilty at trial.