Getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Ohio takes more than just a solid reputation and winning record. The stakes of entry are exceptionally high, and few people know that more than those on the short list. In 2022, Robert Kraft was a semifinalist for the honor, and it was clear that he had a lot of support — and not just from the Patriots. We’ll look at the case for Kraft, and why it’s high time to give the Patriots’ owner the induction he’s long deserved.
Reason One: He’s Committed
Kraft didn’t get into football to make money, nor did he do it for prestige or power. From a young age, he loved to watch football with his family and follow the careers of his favorite players. As he grew up, his passion for the game only grew. The people who know him best will tell you that he’s gone above and beyond for the league, and it’s because he’s made a life-long commitment to a team that means the world to him.
Reason Two: He Wins
Kraft took over the Patriots at a time when losing was pretty much all the team really knew. Between 1989 and 1994, the team only won 19 games. During the course of the entire franchise, they had won less than 7 games every season and only made it to the playoffs a handful of times. While Kraft knew that there’s a lot more to success than straight wins, it doesn’t hurt to have them in your portfolio.
When he took over, he knew that he wanted to turn the team into one that New England would embrace again. Over the course of his tenure, he’s proven that he has the will and the resources to build a group of players from the ground-up. He invested not just in names like Belichick and Brady but in professionals who cared as much about the fate of the team as he did. The Pro Football Hall of Fame should be impressed by the statistics. Not only did he double the number of average wins every season to 12.2, but he clinched more than 340 wins and took the Patriots to the Super Bowl 6 times.
Reason Three: He’s Beloved
When people give their speeches at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, it’s not unusual for them to single out Robert Kraft. They call for his acceptance because of what he’s done for the game. More specifically, they speak to the heart that the owner has, particularly when it comes to giving back.
Robert Kraft worked hard for his empire, but hoarding all his wealth was never in the cards for him. Throughout his life, he’s built a considerable degree of goodwill, largely owing to his generosity. If reputation means anything to the deciders at the Hall of Fame, they should take into account the genuine praise that he’s racked up over the course of his career.
Reason Four: He Fights for What He Believes In
From an antisemitic foundation to his negotiation skills in the boardroom, Robert Kraft has been adamant about standing up for what he believes in. At times, he does so at great personal cost to him. For instance, when a lockout almost delayed the start of the season, Kraft was going through the personal loss of his beloved wife. As difficult as it was for him, he knew that peace could be achieved between the owners and the players.
This was a delicate time for everyone, particularly when you consider just how flared tempers can be in the NFL. However, Kraft was able to speak to both sides and help them understand how to move forward. No matter what kind of franchise you have, there’s going to be a push and pull between everyone within the organization. The conflicting interests and goals can be difficult to understand, let alone solve. Kraft stepped into the fray even when he was grieving, because he knew that the players deserved their fair share, and so did the fans who make the NFL possible in the first place.
Reason Five: He’s Worked for It
Kraft is known as much for his work ethic as he is for his instincts, philanthropy, and acumen. For years, he’s put in the time and elbow grease. He’s been a force for change in the league, pushing past barriers one by one to leave it far better than he found it.
One of his most recent accomplishments was the deal he managed to hammer out with Amazon, a media deal made possible by his board membership at Viacom. It’s another example of the initiative that Kraft takes every day to go after his goals.
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