Patriots Owner Robert Kraft: Vladimir Putin Stole My Super Bowl Ring
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that Russian President Vladimir Putin stole one of his Super Bowl rings:
New England Patriots ownerRobert Kraft told people for years that he gave Russian president Vladimir Putin one of his Super Bowl rings, but according to a report from the New York Post, Putin actually stole the $25,000 ring.
Kraft explained the incident to those in attendance at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala, saying, “I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
It was during the 2005 meeting with Putin in Saint Petersburg that the president became enamored with the ring and came into possession of it, but the drama for Kraftdidn’t stop there.
After returning to the states and demanding his ring back, the White House reportedly intervened. At the behest of the American government, Kraft was instructed to claim the ring was a gift in order to ease possible tensions between the Russians and the United States.
According to the report, the government told Kraft, “It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
While the Patriots owner continued to tell officials that he wanted his “4.94-carat bauble” back, the White House reiterated that it would be best to claim it was a gift and leave it at that.
I’m sure that when the White House spoke to Kraft, they actually referred to U.S./Russian relations, the “Soviet” line is likely a misstatement on Kraft’s part. In any event, though, this one has to qualify as the most bizarre blend of sports and international relations in quite some time.
Update: Well, here’s the rest of the story.