Is Jerry Jones the Only NFL Owner Fans Hate More Than Robert Kraft?

Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft might be two of the most well-known owners in the NFL, but it doesn’t mean that they are well-loved. Perhaps due to the teams that they own, the two are common targets of criticism regarding their ownership practices, off-the-field scandals, and perceptions with the media. Because of this, Jones and Kraft might be the most hated owners in sports

Even in a major sport like the NFL, many owners operate in the shadows and avoid being put into the narrative, but by doing the opposite, Jones and Kraft get put under the microscope and dissected like few others

Jerry Jones stands on the field before an NFL game.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones stands on the field during warmups | Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Why do people hate Jerry Jones?

Jerry Jones purchased the Dallas Cowboys in 1989 and immediately let the fanbase know that the team was his by firing Tom Landry, the Cowboys head coach who had been with the team for nearly three decades. Although the years after would prove to be the best in franchise history, with Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and company dominating the early part of the ’90s.

Outside of this initial success, however, Jones’s tenure has largely consisted of him setting the franchise back or keeping them in the depths of mediocrity. Part of his problem is his inability to let others make the football decisions. Several owners meddle with their teams, but Jones takes it to the next level by acting as his own GM.

This GM tenure has kept the Cowboys in the middle of the NFL’s standings more often than not, if not down in the cellar. Although he has found a strong young core with the current squad, he hasn’t always shown a willingness to make his players happy.

Ezekiel Elliott was part of contentious holdout during the preseason, and Dak Prescott is similarly due for a contract that Jones has not shown a willingness to sign. 

Jones treats the Cowboys as his number one business. He tends to keep people around he likes too long and runs people out based on personal distrust and dislike. 

Why do people hate Robert Kraft? 

Robert Kraft is going to be hated due to the team he owns. The Patriots might be the long-standing target of fan hatred, but it doesn’t mean that the feelings people have for Kraft are frivolous. Kraft has been the subject of controversy just as often Brady and Belichick have. Sometimes, it is because he is the owner of a hated team, but the team doesn’t make things easy for themselves. 

The Patriots have been involved in two of the biggest cheating scandals in the NFL over the last two decades. The first one had the team recording their opponents’ practices, presumably to figure out their schemes and get a leg-up on the competition. The other was the infamous “Deflategate” when the team was accused of deflating footballs to get an advantage. 

Not helping Kraft is his smug dismissal of any criticism. This past offseason saw Kraft involved in a controversy involving a massage parlor who was reportedly keeping sex workers who were held against their will. Kraft, of course, denied he knew about these things, but his actions have people questioning this. 

Do Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft deserve the hate?

Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones both embrace a tradition of elitist attitudes that are common in sports, especially among major teams. They can come across as arrogant and petty and greedy, and they do so with a gravitas that draws the attention to them.

Other owners might all of these things, but Kraft and Jones made themselves a part of the show. They constantly speak to media and make themselves a part of the team that’s synonymous with the product.

Saying someone deserves hate is harsh, but Jones and Kraft have a knack for inviting these feelings to themselves, and if they don’t want the attention they can step away from the spotlight. Until they do, the feelings about them will remain.