Patriots owner Robert Kraft is subject to the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy and could face league discipline including a suspension after authorities in Florida announced today that he is one of dozens of people caught in a prostitution sting.
Although players are usually the ones suspended, the league has always made clear that the personal conduct policy applies to anyone affiliated with the NFL.
“It is a privilege to be part of the National Football League,” the first paragraph of the policy reads. “Everyone who is part of the league must refrain from ‘conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in’ the NFL. This includes owners, coaches, players, other team employees, game officials, and employees of the league office, NFL Films, NFL Network, or any other NFL business.” (Emphasis in original.)
In 2014, the NFL suspended Colts owner Jim Irsay six games and fined him $500,000 for driving while impaired. Irsay is the only owner to be suspended by the league since 1999, when 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo was suspended for the entire season for his part in a Louisiana gambling scandal. DeBartolo would never regain control of the team, instead ceding control to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, and her family.
If the league finds that Kraft has committed conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the NFL, he could be suspended, and kept away while the Patriots commemorate their sixth Super Bowl title under his ownership.