×

Advocates Want NFL to Ban Patriots, Boston Uprising Owner Robert Kraft

Survivors of sexual exploitation and various anti-sexual exploitation and trafficking organizations are calling on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to ban New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft after his arrest in Florida last month.

In addition to the Patriots, Kraft owns the Overwatch League team Boston Uprising, which is currently participating in the esport’s second season. He’s charged with two counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla., according to the Jupiter Police Department. The sex acts were reportedly captured on surveillance video. Kraft’s arrest was part of a wider investigation into human trafficking in South Florida that lasted at least a year.

Now, in a letter to Commissioner Goodell, more than 60 anti-sexual exploitation advocates, along with 19 survivors are asking that Kraft be stripped of team ownership if police investigations confirm he purchased women for sex.

“It’s important for the NFL to recognize that those who buy people for sex engage in crimes of sexual coercion and violence,” said Lisa L. Thompson, vice president of policy and research at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE). “Payment for sex is a raw manifestation of sexual coercion. Men who buy people for sex use money to gain power and exercise temporary sexual control over others — typically women and girls. Further, we know that if men stopped purchasing people for sex, there would be no sex trafficking.”

Popular on Variety

“For a team owner to engage in sexual exploitation is incompatible with the NFL’s personal conduct policy,” Thompson added. “Accordingly, survivors of sexual exploitation and trafficking, along with other advocates for the eradication of sexual exploitation call on the NFL to hold Robert Kraft accountable by banning him from NFL team ownership.”

The letter also calls on the NFL to create a corporate and sport culture that respects others and rejects all forms of sexual harassment, assault, and exploitation by owners, coaches, players, and others in the league.

Thompson told Variety via email the NCOSE is considering asking the Overwatch League to ban Kraft as well.

More Gaming

  • Call of Duty The Campaign

    Watch the First Episode of New Call of Duty League Docuseries 'The Campaign' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even a new league comes with history. That’s one of the takeaways from the first episode of “The Campaign,” which follows the Chicago Huntsmen in the lead-up to Activision Blizzard’s new franchised Call of Duty League. Variety is debuting the first episode exclusively, which details some of the narrative that follows the Huntsmen (based in [...]

  • Vindex - Imax

    Imax Jumps Into Esports in Exclusive Pact With Startup Vindex

    Hold on to your popcorn: An Imax location near you could soon be beaming live competitive video-game action onto its big screens. Imax has inked a partnership with Vindex (vindex.gg), an esports infrastructure startup formed by Major League Gaming co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, under which Vindex will create esports events and experiences exclusively [...]

  • Corinna Kopf

    Corinna Kopf Leaving Twitch to Stream Exclusively on Facebook Gaming

    The battle for gaming creators has cost Amazon’s Twitch another notable streamer: Corinna Kopf, a popular Instagram model, digital influencer and “Fortnite” Twitch streamer with millions of followers, is moving to Facebook Gaming under an exclusive agreement. On Facebook, Kopf’s first stream is scheduled to take place Dec. 30 at 4 p.m. PT at facebook.com/gaming/corinnakopff. [...]

  • Pokemon-Tower-Battle

    Facebook Launches Two Exclusive Pokémon Games

    A pair of Pokémon games is hopping exclusively to Facebook. The social network on Monday launched “Pokémon Tower Battle” and “Pokémon Medallion Battle” — the first time the Pokémon Company is bringing games based on the mini-monster franchise to the Facebook Gaming platform. “Pokémon Tower Battle” is available worldwide while “Pokémon Medallion Battle” is initially [...]

  • Littlstar Ps4 app

    Littlstar Adds Content From Whistle, New Form, Sliver.tv to VR and PlayStation Subscription Service

    UPDATED: A+E Networks-backed video aggregator Littlstar has teamed up with Whistle, New Form, esports network Sliver.tv and others to launch premium content channels for its paying subscribers. The new partnerships will bring esports and other types of short-form content to the PlayStation and VR devices supported by Littlstar. The new partnerships will give Littlstar subscribers [...]

  • Google Stadia Gets Typhoon Studios Game

    Google Buys Typhoon Studios for Its Stadia Cloud Gaming Service

    Google is looking to grow the catalog of its Stadia cloud gaming service: The search giant has acquired Montreal-based game studio Typhon Studios, and will integrate it into its Stadia Games and Entertainment studio. “We’re always looking for people who share our passion and vision for the future of gaming,” said Stadia Games and Entertainment [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content