- Nearly 20,000 people have signed a petition calling for Gillette to pull its sponsorship of the New England Patriots’ home stadium in response to charges against team owner Robert Kraft.
- Kraft was charged in late February in an operation around a chain of spas, that included Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida, targeting suspected sex trafficking and prostitution.
- The Patriots’ owner has pushed back against the charges.
Thousands of people are calling on Proctor and Gamble to pull the Gillette name from the New England Patriots’ home stadium following prostitution charges brought against team owner Robert Kraft.
As of Sunday afternoon, a petition had nearly 20,000 names signed on in favour of Gillette pulling its sponsorship from the stadium in response to the charges brought against Kraft last month in connection to a sex trafficking bust.
A statement on the petition’s web page references an ad released by the company in January, which asked men to examine their behaviour towards each other and women.
“More than just a tagline, the statement represents the brand’s commitment to promoting healthy representations of what masculinity means,” the petition’s statement said of the ad. “It’s nice to see a brand use their influence for good, but now it’s time to see if they will actually back up their words with action.”
As the stadium’s ownership stands now, P&G has committed to Gillette name rights through the 2031 football season.
Kraft was charged in late February after police conducted an operation around a chain of spas that included Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. At least 45 suspects were arrested and 171 arrest warrants were issued in the bust, according to police. Police say that men charged in the bust were videotaped paying for sexual services at the spas.
Last month, a spokesperson for Kraft denied that he “engaged in any illegal activity” and Kraft reportedly rejected a plea deal in March that stipulated he admit his guilt, do 100 hours of community service, and pay $US5,000 for each charge.
In a statement released weeks after he was charged, Kraft apologised to his friends and family and insisted the charges weren’t reflective of his character.
“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing,” the statement said. “The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women.”
Correction 3/25/2019: A previous version of this article stated that Robert Kraft was arrested. He was actually charged and a summons was issued, but he was never arrested.
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