This is one Florida man story that’s taking a sudden turn in direction. After we initially learned about Patriots owner Robert Kraft being busted for activities related to the world’s oldest profession at a Florida strip mall massage parlor (yes… “ewwww“), he was adamant in his denial of any such activity and vowed to vigorously fight to prove his innocence. But now, the response is pretty much the opposite. Kraft has apologized to all of those impacted by this… whoever that might be, aside from the women working at the massage parlor. (Fox News)

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Saturday said, “I am truly sorry,” speaking publicly for the first time since prosecutors accused him last month of twice soliciting sex at a Florida massage parlor.

“I know I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard,” Kraft said in a statement without specifically referring to the charges that have been brought in Palm Beach County.

“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing,” he said. “The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years.”

The strange part of this development is the fact that Kraft’s attorneys already entered a not guilty plea. If that’s the case, and they plan to stick to that, having their client go out and tell a reporter that he’s apologizing for “hurting and disappointing” everyone seems to be a losing strategy. Does this mean that he’s planning on taking back the not guilty plea and cutting a deal?

As I previously wrote, the “seriousness” of these charges is being overblown in the extreme unless it can be determined that some of the women working at the dozen or so massage parlors that were busted were being trafficked, held against their will, etc. It’s a personal embarrassment to be sure, but in the larger scheme of things, the deflated football story was probably more impactful.

We would be remiss if we failed to acknowledge that this wouldn’t even be a national story if it wasn’t Robert Kraft or someone equally rich and famous being discussed. According to Florida law enforcement officials, there were more than 300 men arrested in connection with similar “recreational activity” at a dozen massage parlors around the state. The only one we’re hearing about is Kraft. I get the sense that nobody in the Boston area is really going to want to hold Bob’s feet to the fire as long as they keep winning championships, though the exception to that rule might be his very young and attractive girlfriend.

Rather than taking this as an opportunity to delight in seeing the rich and powerful being taken down a peg, we might instead choose to use this as a chance to discuss revisiting some of our archaic prostitution laws. It’s a discussion that’s probably long overdue. If we devoted more of our resources to tracking down people who are engaged in human trafficking and putting women into brothels against their will, and less time obsessing over women working as “independent contractors” and their clients, we might be doing more good for society overall.

Of course, that won’t sell many newspapers, unfortunately.