Anti-sexual exploitation activists call on NFL to banish Robert Kraft

Alex Reimer
March 20, 2019 - 9:11 am

The NFL is receiving pressure from anti-human-trafficking activists to banish Robert Kraft from the league if the prostitution allegations against him are true.

On Tuesday, 84 survivors of sexual exploitation and various anti-sexual exploitation groups sent a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell saying they find Kraft’s alleged conduct to be unfitting for an NFL owner. The statement, which was drafted by the National Center for Sexual Exploitation, cites the league’s stringent personal conduct policy.

“Assuming that the allegations against Mr. Kraft prove to be true, as explained above, the aggravating circumstances of his behavior demand his banishment from NFL team ownership,” it reads. “Anything less will send that signal that owners are not held to a higher standard, that their power, influence, and wealth permit them to get away with despicable actions, and that the NFL abets sexual exploitation and trafficking.”

The authors quote verbatim from the personal conduct policy, highlighting the portions that say guilt or innocence are irrelevant. In addition to saying owners must be held to higher standards than players, the policy also lists actions against vulnerable people as one of the aggravating factors that may warrant harsher discipline.

One of the letter’s main arguments is the prostitution industry is rife with predation, regardless of whether law enforcement can prove there was human trafficking. “In such circumstances, whether or not the sex buyer is aware that the individual they have purchased is sexually trafficked or not does not mitigate the victim’s experience of their sexual encounter as one of rape,” it reads. “As sexually trafficked persons, the women performing sex acts are not “consenting,” thus the sex acts in which they are involved are inherently sexual assault and rape.”

My Life My Choice, the Boston-based anti-sexual exploitation charity that received $100,000 from the Patriots Charitable Foundation in 2015, was one of more than 60 organizations that co-signed the letter.