The Patriots Will Have To Navigate Robert Kraft's Mess Without Their "Character Coach"

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The fallout from Robert Kraft’s solicitation charges has set the stage for a ham-handed response from the NFL, as well as fueled the larger conversation around sex work, but now it’s affected the team he owns, in that a guy whose contract expired had a strong opinion on what Kraft did.


Patriots “character coach” Jack Easterby, who was hired by the team in 2013 after Aaron Hernandez was arrested for murder, will not be returning to the team, as reported by the Boston Globe. Here’s as specific as the report gets:

Easterby felt his time with the team had run its course, and the Kraft situation does not sit well with him, according to league sources.

Easterby’s role, like many in the Patriots organization, seems more nebulous the more you look at it. He was essentially a more involved team chaplain, given a corporate title because that’s what this ridiculously successful and ridiculously austere franchise does. Before the Super Bowl, he described it to Patriots Wire in typical teamspeak:

They call it team development or character coaching. Just aim to be a servant. Aim to be the glue. Aim to help anything and everything to help our team gel together, be better men on and off the field and help us hopefully work together as a team to perform at the highest level.

Easterby had previously worked with various NFL teams and the South Carolina Gamecocks in similar roles. He was with the Kansas City Chiefs at the time of linebacker Jovan Belcher’s murder-suicide. He’s reportedly leaving New England to “pursue other opportunities in football,” so it’s possible that he’ll land another character coach gig at a franchise less embroiled in a sex scandal.

When the Kraft news broke, Easterby had retweeted former Pats tight end Ben Watson’s missive on the evils of human trafficking. (Sex trafficking is also used by authorities as a blanket descriptor to facilitate busting prostitution; so far, no one has been charged with trafficking at Orchids of Asia, the massage parlor Kraft visited.)


Staff Writer at Deadspin