Michael Rubin on Robert Kraft: ‘He’s finally seeing what it’s like to be a player in the NFL’

"Now, Robert's like, 'Man, I get what our players go through when they get pulled over and they're discriminated against.'"

Robert Kraft Michael Rubin
Fanatics founder/executive chairman Michael Rubin and Robert Kraft arrive at the Fanatics Super Bowl Party at the College Football Hall of Fame. –Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Fanatics

Michael Rubin, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, expects Patriots owner Robert Kraft to be “stronger than ever” after the resolution of the prostitution investigation involving Kraft and 24 other men.

“I think a lot of the true details will come out over time and won’t be as people believe,” Rubin said Wednesday afternoon at the World Congress of Sports, an annual sports business conference hosted at Monarch Beach Resort in southern California. “I think the great thing with Robert is that he’ll figure out how to make the country and the world a better place as a result of what he’s gone through.”

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Rubin, a good friend of Kraft’s who was by his side before and after Super Bowl LIII and during NBA All-Star Weekend, said he’s spoken with the 77-year-old billionaire about newfound empathy for professional football and basketball players. Rubin said the process has been “eye-opening” for Kraft.

“I think the biggest thing that I’ve talked to Robert about every day these days is he’s finally seeing what it’s like to be a player in the NFL and a player in the NBA when you have experiences with law enforcement that aren’t the way that you thought that they were going to be,” Rubin said.

Rubin echoed the case made by Kraft’s attorneys that the sex trafficking claim that prompted the installation of hidden cameras at Orchids of Asia Day Spa was “made up” by law enforcement. According to Rubin and Kraft’s legal team, Kraft was both illegally videoed and pulled over as a result of that fabricated claim. Kraft’s attorneys have filed a motion to have the video evidence thrown out of the case due to the nature in which it was obtained.

“Now, Robert’s like, ‘Man, I get what our players go through when they get pulled over and they’re discriminated against,'” Rubin said. “To be honest, he was like me. A year and a half ago, I thought the criminal justice system worked perfectly in 99.9 percent of the situations. Today, I recognize it doesn’t work well in most of the situations — not because they’re bad people but because the system is fundamentally broken.”

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Prior to the investigation, Rubin and Kraft, along with rapper Meek Mill and others, launched the REFORM Alliance, an organization dedicated to lobbying for changes to state probation and parole laws.

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