Unless you've been living under a rock, I'm guessing you've heard by now that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, 77, was one of 25 men, from varying ages of 29 years old all the way up to 84 years old, to have arrest warrants issued in their names as a result of a months long stung on the human trafficking business in the state of Florida.
According to authorities, Kraft is being issued a misdemeanor warrant of two counts of solicitation of prostitution stemming from his visiting the Orchids of Asia massage parlor in Jupiter, FL in January. The sting included copious amounts of body cam footage, and to that end, Kraft is reportedly caught on video engaged in sexual acts. The Patriots issued a denial of the charges on behalf of Kraft, so the battle lines being drawn between Kraft and actual video footage are certainly ones to watch.
Now, what a 77 year old man, who is reportedly worth $6.6 billion, would be doing getting pleasured by immigrant sex workers (slaves, really) in an establishment whose hygienic conditions police described as "deplorable" is anybody's guess. Everyone has their fetishes, I suppose. Other than the obvious thoughts of "Wow, that's really gross!" and "Human sex traffickers should burn in a special corner of hell," here are four other thoughts on this still exploding story:
The Pittsburgh Steelers are off the hook as the biggest NFL soap opera, for now.
J.J. Watt was on Seth Meyers' late night show recently, and joked about how his brother, T.J., essentially plays for the NFL's version of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, the Pittsburgh Steelers:
Well, this video was even before the Steelers announced they wouldn't be handing Le'Veon Bell the franchise tag (making him a free agent), and before Antonio Brown went insane on Instagram, burning down any leverage the Steelers have in trying to move him. Well, as much drama as that is for late February, Kraft essentially said "Hold my beer," and took it to a whole extra level with these charges.
How far do you go down the list of NFL owners before you get to Robert Kraft being in THIS kind of situation?
Now, THIS is my kind of question — if you were handed a headline that read "NFL Owner ________ Caught For Solicitation of Prostitution," and you had to Mad-Lib in a name, based on past conduct, who would it be? My first thought is Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, based solely on the presence of this infamous picture on the internet:
Next would probably be Jim Irsay of the Colts, based on his serving of a six game suspension a few years ago for suspicion of DUI and drug charges. He's just unhinged enough to wander into the Orchids of Asia. And then, it's probably Kraft. I mean.... come on....
The human trafficking element of his story means that there is a LOT still remaining on the table, in terms of discipline.
Now, all of the snarky remarks aside, the part of this story that leaves SO much still to be hashed out is the nature of the "workers" at the various spas that were swept up in the sting. These were women brought over from China, duped into thinking they were being led to a better life, and then essentially enslaved to provide paid sex acts for the parlors' clientele. They were intimidated, shamed, and told not to cooperate with any authorities. They lived in the parlors, and were never allowed to leave. Terrible, terrible stuff.
So when the charge reads "misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution," it needs to emphasized, when punishment time rolls around, that this wasn't Kraft going "Richard Gere in Pretty Woman" and picking up some pro in Times Square, who voluntarily goes home to an apartment and a dog the next morning. These were sex slaves, and part of an FBI sting, and I think we still need to know if Kraft knew that going into this place, as well as the ages of some of the workers. Were they underaged? This should all factor into any punishment given out by the NFL. My take on my radio show on Friday was that, if the workers were underaged or Kraft knew of the trafficking that brought them there, that selling his team should be under discussion. Many on Twitter saw that as an overreaction, which is fair, I guess. Hey, at least, I'm not proposing some harebrained tripe like Roger Goodell entrapping Kraft, right?
Tucker Carlson, who regularly claims the Russia probe is a hoax and conspiracy theory, pushes a conspiracy theory with his guest that Roger Goodell is behind Robert Kraft's arrest in a prostitution sting. pic.twitter.com/SOUwgWvSR3— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 23, 2019
And, at least I knew that there was even human trafficking INVOLVED in this story, unlike SOME, right?
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What are the odds Kraft is suspended, and if so, for how long?
Proof that you can bet on almost anything these days, Betonline.ag put out the following odds on what will happen with Kraft:
Bob Kraft - NFL Suspension Result
Both fined and suspended 1/3
either fined or suspended 13/4
Only Fined 4/1
Only Suspended 7/1
Bob Kraft - If Suspended How Long Will It Be?
1-4 Weeks 2/1
5-8 Weeks 5/4
9-17 Weeks 7/5
Bob Kraft - To be found guilty or plead guilty
Yes -500 (1/5)
No +300 (3/1)
Bob Kraft Still Owner of Patriots Week 1 2019
Yes -2000 (1/20)
No +1000 (10/1)
I'm going with fined and suspended, for sure, and I'll say that the suspension is in the "9-17 Weeks" range. Place your bets, folks!