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Volume 26 No. 183
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NFL Must Still Make Decision On Kraft Case Despite Legal Turns

Kraft's legal team appears close to claiming the case as a victory for the Patriots owner
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Kraft's legal team appears close to claiming the case as a victory for the Patriots owner
Photo: GETTY IMAGES
Kraft's legal team appears close to claiming the case as a victory for the Patriots owner
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Robert Kraft's Orchids of Asia Day Spa case has "taken some turns in favor" of the Patriots owner, and now the NFL office is "faced with a significant question" in deciding if and how it will punish Kraft, according to Charles Robinson of YAHOO SPORTS. If the Palm Beach County DA’s office "scuttles its charges against Kraft," the league must determine how aggressive it is "willing to be when it comes to levying its own determination against one of the NFL’s biggest power brokers." Legal cases involving NFL figures in recent years have had a "common theme running between them: The league’s ability to push personal conduct issues as far as it pleases." The NFL has "set a standard with personal conduct cases that is almost impossible to pin down in a uniform manner." It is "possible the NFL does nothing to Kraft." Still, after the public manner in which the case has played out, Kraft is "going to have a hard time getting that genie back into the bottle when it comes to what can be considered 'detrimental' to the NFL’s image" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 5/15). In Boston, Karen Guregian writes it is "hard to believe Kraft will walk away from [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell’s kangaroo court totally unscathed." Goodell does have "one piece of evidence that could weigh in a ruling: a Kraft apology." It seems a "fair bet Kraft is looking at either a hefty fine, or a suspension" (BOSTON HERALD, 5/15).

SAVING FACE: In Boston, Adrian Walker writes while Kraft has "made quick work of the Florida law enforcement officials who seemed so excited to charge him back in February," he still has to deal with the NFL, which can "fine or suspend him for violating its personal conduct policy, conviction or no conviction." It is likely "much of the reason he fought so hard was to preserve his reputation within the league." He "dearly wants to be inducted" into the Pro Football HOF one day. Most Patriots fans "don’t seem to care what Kraft did or didn’t do." His fan base has "rallied around him, as demonstrated by the cheers that went up when his face appeared on a TD Garden Jumbotron recently." Kraft "isn’t evil, but he’s not a martyr, either." He did something "truly reckless and may emerge unscathed." If Kraft "really wants his reputation back, he has work to do." He should "throw himself, and his checkbook, into the work he has supported in the past to support victims of human trafficking, through groups like My Life My Choice." He should also "display genuine public remorse" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/15).