There are as many reasons to own a private jet - more commonly referred to as a PJ by those with the means to afford one - as there are private jets. Trips to the world's premiere events such as the World Cup, Milan Fashion Week, the Oscars, the Super Bowl, the Sundance Film Festival, or global forums on climate change. Consequently, you can hardly consider yourself worthy of the sobriquet "Influencer" if you don't have at least a dozen photos of you sipping Hennessy on a PJ. And judging by the air traffic reports, there was simply no better way to visit Jeffrey Epstein's island than in the comfort of your own private jet.
But not every rich person is a self-possessed narcissist who needs to flaunt their wealth. Or a carbon footprint hypocrite. Or a shallow, vapid poser. Or a pedophile. At least we know of one who isn't. A self-made man who uses the air force he has built to do great works of charity and compassion.
Mr. Kraft is no ordinary, everyday billionaire. As such, he didn't run out and buy some little 12 seat Gulfstream he could sip champagne from. He retrofitted two jumbo jets for his football team to travel in. Only to see to it personally that these luxury airliners log more air miles on missions of mercy than they do on trips around the NFL schedule.
And his latest, non-random act of kindness is perhaps his most personal yet:
Source - In a first class move from Robert Kraft and company, the Patriots lent their team plane to the University of Virginia football team so that players can attend the funerals of their fallen teammates, according to WPRI.
Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry killed in a mass shooting on November 13 as they returned from a class trip on a bus. A fourth teammate, Mike Hollins, was also shot but survived the attack and was released from the hospital earlier this week.
Chandler was from Huntersville, North Carolina, while Davis hailed from Dorchester, South Carolina and Perry from Miami, Florida. It was going to be challenging for teammates to attend all three out-of-state funerals, so the Kraft family made things far easier for them.
This was a gesture so heartfelt and noble that even John Henry's Boston Globe, which ran a piece criticizing the very masks Mr. Kraft delivered to our medical personnel in their desperate hour, celebrated it:
But as we've seen time and time again, this is how RKK lives his life. This is what the Kraft family stands for. It's how they operate. Some billionaire families talk a good game. Then when regular people are in need of help, all too often the ones with the deepest pockets suddenly seem to have the shortest arms. With this family, their deeds far exceed their words.
In this instance, Mr. Kraft could've done nothing, and no one would've noticed. He has no connection to the school or any of the victims that I'm aware of. Other than they're human beings and he's a philanthropist. A word that literally translates to "one who loves human beings." And so a bunch of college kids who otherwise might not have had the means to go offer comfort and support to their friends families were able to do so. Providing a first positive step out of the ashes of a senseless and unspeakable crime.
Aside from offering the sincerest condolences to the UVA players, coaches, students and faculty, and the victims families, we should also offer a challenge. To all the very wealthy who have the means to do acts of generosity such as this, but not the willingness. That they will see this gesture and the ones that came before it, and be inspired to do likewise. I acknowledge that there are other billionaires doing good works. But not enough of them. Follow Mr. Kraft's lead and make the world a better place, one kindness at a time. It's not too much to ask.
Rest in peace, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D’Sean Perry.