Patriots

Roger Goodell on Robert Kraft: 'Personal conduct policy applies to everybody'

Roger Goodell on Robert Kraft: 'Personal conduct policy applies to everybody'

PHOENIX -- The NFL is going to wait and see on Robert Kraft.

Roger Goodell fielded questions on a variety of topics Tuesday at the close of the league's Annual Meeting at the Biltmore Arizona, including a handful pertaining to the Patriots chairman and CEO.

Goodell, who was spotted with Kraft on multiple occasions between meetings this week, explained that the commissioner's office would be withholding any judgement — and any punishment — until "all the facts" had been gathered.

In broaching the subject with Goodell, the Boston Globe's Ben Volin pointed out that the commissioner has suspended players — Kansas City's Kareem Hunt and Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott, in particular — who have not been charged with crimes based on the league's collectively-bargained personal conduct policy.

Because Kraft has been charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting a prostitute, Volin asked, does the precedent Goodell has set mean Kraft will be suspended as well?

"The Personal Conduct Policy applies to everybody," Goodell answered. "Commissioners, owners, executives, players, coaches. And it will be applied to everybody. But it will be done after we get all the facts. When we have all the information, we'll be fair and smart about it. That's what we'll do."

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Kraft waived an arraignment scheduled for Thursday and entered a not guilty plea. He also requested a jury trial after having requested a non-jury trial late last month.

Kraft categorically denied that he had done anything illegal on the day charges were brought against him. Police claim they have captured Kraft on video twice paying attendants at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa massage parlor for sex acts in January.

Earlier this month, Kraft did not accept a plea offer made by the prosecution that would have required from him an admission that he would have been found guilty at trial.

Goodell was asked if gathering "all the facts" meant that he would hold off on a determination on discipline until Kraft's case is resolved.

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"No," Goodell said. "When we get all the facts. That includes anything that might be pertinent to this."

Goodell added: "When we get all the information, we'll make determinations. I'm not going to speculate on where we are or my views on anything. Until we get all the information, we're not going to make any discussions or comments on that."

Goodell was definitive in his response to the final Kraft-related question lobbed his way. Will it be ownership or the commissioner who determines the discipline in this case, if there is to be any discipline meted out?

"The Personal Conduct Policy is my responsibility," Goodell said.

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Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

Patriots legend Richard Seymour opens up about poker career

When athletes retire from the sport they've played their whole lives, it's natural for them to miss the competition. That feeling is no different for former Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour.

The Hall-of-Fame hopeful, though, has chosen a unique way to get the competitive juices flowing. On July 11, he finished an impressive 131st at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, taking home $59,295. 

"Once you’re done playing football you still have a competitive drive,” Seymour told Yahoo! Sports. “Poker is an outlet for me where I have a competitive drive, you have to be very cerebral. It requires a lot like it did for me in football – I have to be patient, I have to know how to pick my spots, pay attention to guys’ tendencies. It was just a natural progression after leaving sports at a high level.”

Seymour, according to Yahoo! Sports, learned how to play poker from his father and picked it up at a competitive level shortly after he retired from the NFL in 2012. In last week's WSOP, he peaked at $3.6 million. Seymour said he's used his Super Bowl ring as a chip holder to intimidate competitors at the poker table. He also said he takes advantage of his status as a football legend, often bluffing when opponents assume he'll be an aggressive player. 

“Some guys play me differently because they say, ‘If I knock Richard Seymour out it’s a cool story to tell my buddies’,” he said. “Which I don’t mind that, it just depends on how I’m feeling that day...“My temperament fits poker well; I’m naturally kind of reserved, I’m not super emotional one way or another, so if bad things happen, which they’re going to in poker, it’s about how do you respond?”

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Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Patriots involved in 3 of top-10 most-watched sporting events of 2019

Hate them or love them, America has watched the Patriots more than any other team — in any sport — in 2019.

According to sportsmediawatch.com, all 10 of the most-watched sporting events of 2019 were NFL games. No World Series, Stanley Cup Final or NBA Finals games made the list. Of the 10 highest-rated events, three of them included the Patriots. 

Unsurprisingly, the Super Bowl matchup between the Pats and Los Angeles Rams topped the list with more than 100 million viewers including online streams (in parentheses). Both New England's AFC Championship game against the Chiefs and its Division Round contest with the Chargers also cracked the top-10. 

The television ratings suggest that the NFL is still head-and-shoulders above other leagues in popularity, and the Patriots are leading the charge. 

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