Robert Kraft, the New England Patriots owner charged with soliciting prostitution, isn’t just in trouble with the law — he could get flagged by the NFL.
Like the players, NFL team owners are also subject to the league’s personal conduct policy.
It says so in the opening paragraph, and the word “everyone” is underlined and written in bold for emphasis.
“It is a privilege to be part of the National Football League,” it 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.”
Team owners like Kraft are held to an even “higher standard,” according to the policy.
“Ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline when violations of the Personal Conduct Policy occur,” it says.
At least one NFL team owner has been sanctioned for violating the conduct policy. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was fined $500,000 and suspended for six games after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to driving while intoxicated.
NBC News reached out to the NFL to find out if it is reviewing whether Kraft ran afoul of league policy but did not immediately hear back.
The league issued a statement Friday saying, “The NFL is aware of the ongoing law enforcement matter and will continue to monitor developments.”
Kraft, 77, whose team won the Super Bowl earlier this month, was one of at least 25 people arrested Friday as part of a monthslong human trafficking investigation that police say spanned from China to Florida.
Police say the Patriots owner is facing misdemeanor charges on two counts of solicitation at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft is not charged with human trafficking. An attorney for the spa’s owner declined to comment Friday.
Kraft's spokesperson has categorically denied he "engaged in any illegal activity."