Who Shall We Buy Today Mr. Kraft?

Chuck Sipps, Arts and Life Editor


It’s always struck me as odd that a person can decide to sleep with ten people in a single evening and it’s legal. However, if two consensual adults agree to a transaction of sex for money, suddenly, it’s illegal. What two people decide to do in private is their business, so long as it’s consensual.  Despite all that, prostitution is illegal, and yet the world’s oldest profession is still a multi-billion-dollar business.

According to humanrightsfirst.org, an estimated 24.9 million victims are trapped in modern-day slavery. Of these, 4.8 million (19 percent) were sexually exploited. That is nearly five million people who are forced into sex trafficking, usually under false pretenses with the promise of housing and jobs to desperate people. These numbers are alarming and frankly disgusting.

Enter Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, with his net worth estimated to be $6.2 billion. Kraft, 77, was charged with two counts of soliciting sex as part of an investigation into prostitution and suspected human trafficking in Jupiter, Florida. Kraft is said to have visited a spa called Orchids of Asia, a small storefront business in a strip mall. Kraft has categorically denied these charges, even though police claim they have video evidence for each person they have charged.

One of the many disappointing aspects of this story is that this case wouldn’t have received anywhere near the same level of attention if not for Kraft’s involvement. Need proof? Look at the headlines, and all they talk about is Kraft’s involvement but nothing of the other 200 men who have been, or will be, charged in these crimes. Nor is there much talk about what is being done to help these women, nor cries to stop this modern-day slavery epidemic. It is sickening that Kraft garners more attention than those he helped victimize.

For those who want to argue, “How was he supposed to know that these women were sex slaves?” Well, My Life My Choice, a Boston nonprofit, works to end sexual exploitation. Kraft donated $100,000 to My Life My Choice in 2015. Kraft is well aware of the dangers of sex trafficking, so much so he was willing to pledge his own money to abolish it. It is ironic than that he would also spend his money to further the profits of this heinous and illegal industry.

Furthering the irony, Kraft has long portrayed himself as the defender of the NFL’s reputation, and he has penalized players and other owners for actions that have tarnished the league. Now we stand at a crossroads where Kraft’s actions have undoubtedly tarnished the shield he has so adamantly defended. What repercussions will he face, being that he is one of the NFL’s leaders and owns one of its most profitable teams? A fine? What is money to a billionaire?

But one of the things that upsets me the most about this story is the reactions I have heard from several peers. The consensus I’ve heard most often is, “A man that rich can get any woman he wants. Why would he need to pay for it?” That is extremely sexist. This implies that every woman on the planet can be bought, if the price is right. Follow that line of thought: how much money would it take for Kraft to “have” your significant other, sister, or mother? Why bother to spare a thought for the people forced into slavery? Instead ponder the financial decisions made by another rich old white dude.

In all likelihood, the most punishment Kraft will face will be a fine and a slap on the wrist. He will remain the owner of the New England Patriots and his net worth will continue to grow. And as long as men like Kraft, the uber rich elite who feel like they can buy whatever they want, continue to treat people like products, then the number of sex slaves will also continue to grow.