50 Most Influential: No. 3 — Robert Kraft
Founder, Chairman & CEO
The Kraft GroupCHANGE FROM 2013: +4
This ranking will spark questions, but with Commissioner Roger Goodell clearly damaged over the last year, the role of ownership becomes more vital. No owner has more sway in NFL circles than longtime Goodell-ally Kraft, who was the first to offer public support for the commissioner in the wake of the Ray Rice video and who continues to be a staunch defender. But it’s not just Kraft’s role within the NFL that puts him at this spot, it’s also his strong and deep relationships in political, cultural and entertainment circles — after all, not many team owners get a Nike shoe designed after them. He’s got clout and he knows how to use it.
NBA writer John Lombardo and Executive Editor Abraham Madkour discuss the reasoning behind Adam Silver being No. 1 on our Most Influential list.