Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi says “surprised and shocked” is an understatement to describe how he feels following the news that team owner Robert Kraft is facing two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution.
“Mr. Kraft is someone who I care very deeply about,” Bruschi said on ESPN’s “NFL Live” Friday. “If — I guess that’s a big if — if this were true, I’d be extremely disappointed.”
Earlier Friday, Jupiter Police Chief Daniel J. Kerr named Kraft as one of several individuals being charged with soliciting prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Kerr said there is video evidence of the alleged acts for all of the individuals being charged; a spokesman for Kraft issued a statement categorically denying that the 77-year-old billionaire “engaged in any illegal activity.”
Bruschi, who spent the entirety of his 13-year NFL career with the Patriots, said he’s “holding on” to Kraft’s denial while he waits for new information to emerge. He called Friday “a tough day,” citing his personal relationship with Kraft as well as Kraft’s charitable work within the community.
“It’s a tough, confusing time right now for myself [and] for a lot of fans of the New England Patriots that something like this would happen to the leader of an organization that everyone in this region I guess looked to [for] the way things should be done in the right way,” Bruschi said. “It’s a tough day.”
Bruschi said he’s been in contact with a couple of fellow former players via text message to discuss “what’s going on” and any details they may become privy to. A father of three, Bruschi referred to the subject matter as “a hard thing to communicate about.”
“We’re talking about human trafficking, and we’re talking about prostitution,” he said. “It’s very difficult when my youngest son comes up to me, and he’s heard about it before I did, and he says the word prostitution. I think it’s something that a lot of families will have to talk about today. It’s some tough conversations that parents will have to have because the New England Patriots are in the fabric of all of the families here in this region.”