It’s a quiet time for the NFL right now, so today’s news dump is certainly going to keep people talking. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft as been charged with solicitation of prostitution as a result of a broader investigation into human trafficking by the Martin County (Florida) Sheriff’s Department.
Considering nothing else of note is happening in the NFL, I figured this was worth a separate thread — even though it has nothing to do with the 49ers.
Kraft faces a misdemeanor charge, but also faces potential league discipline. I can’t think of reason the NFL won’t find a way to bungle this up. Roger Goodell is a joke when it comes to discipline, and I don’t think any of us can predict with any certainty how the league will handle this. In 2014, Jim Irsay was suspended for six games and fined $500,000 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after he pled guilty to a charge of driving while under the influence of hydrocodone and oxycodone.
I realize there will be plenty of jokes to be made about Kraft and the situation, but I would like to make one thing clear: the most important issue in all this is the human trafficking investigation. Kraft is not being charged as part of the broader trafficking issue, but he’d be naive to not at least be aware of the trafficking element involved in these massage parlors.
Prostitution is sometimes described as a victimless crime, but that is clearly not always the case. Like many so-called vices (gambling, marijuana use, alcohol use) it can be something that does not bring in outside victims, but the black market nature of it creates numerous potential problems.
My personal opinion is that like gambling and marijuana, prostitution should be legalized and regulated. It is the proverbial “world’s oldest profession” and no amount of criminalizing of it is going to stop it. If you bring it out of the black market and into the light of day, I would argue you have a better chance of cutting back on things like human trafficking. The trafficking at the massage parlor that involved Kraft is different from traditional prostitution, but some form of legalization would potentially help curb issues like this. It’s not a bullet-proof solution, but it would be a start.