The New England Patriots are back in the news for the wrong reasons.
This time team owner Robert Kraft is the one in the wringer.
And one sex scandal could get Kraft kicked out of the NFL.
Since head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady took over in New England in 2000, the Patriots have appeared in nine Super Bowls and won six.
But with that unprecedented winning has come a reputation for cheating.
In the Spygate controversy, the Patriots were caught secretly videotaping opposing teams in order to get a competitive advantage.
In the Deflategate scandal, Brady was suspended four games for instructing an equipment manager to illegally deflate his footballs in order to have a better grip on the ball.
The Patriots and their fans have felt that Commissioner Roger Goodell has a vendetta against the team.
Now the Patriots’ latest scandal could give Goodell the justification to hammer the franchise in a serious way.
Billionaire owner Robert Kraft was embroiled in a sex scandal in Jupiter, Florida near Orlando.
Kraft and dozens of other men were arrested for solicitation in connection with a massage parlor that was allegedly operating as a front for a prostitution ring.
The charges against the salon are as serious as human trafficking.
Kraft maintains his innocence, but if he’s found guilty of any wrongdoing, Goodell could step in.
In the NBA, former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was forced to sell the team after his mistress recorded him making insensitive remarks about black celebrities.
Goodell has been accused of abusing his power as commissioner, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he could seize Kraft’s team the way the NBA did Sterling’s.
There’s even precedent within the NFL.
Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo had to cede control of the team to his sister and her husband after he was ensnared in an illegal riverboat casino boondoggle.
As disliked as Goodell is, the mainstream media would likely back his play to punish Kraft because of his friendship with Donald Trump.
The Patriots have gotten the label of “Trump’s team” because Kraft, Belichick, and Brady are all friendly with the president.
The media are all too eager to stomp all over Kraft, but they were mainly silent during the corruption and sex scandal involving New Jersey senator Bob Menendez.
Menendez allegedly had sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, but the Star-Ledger—one of the most circulated papers in New Jersey—openly endorsed Menendez.
Kraft’s demise could end the Patriots’ dynasty.
Belichick and Brady are both nearing retirement, and Kraft’s ouster could nudge them toward calling it quits.
And in the case of the 49ers, the organization was never the same once DeBartolo left.
If Kraft were to be replaced, it’s unlikely the new owner would be able to recreate anything close to Kraft’s output.