Putin Denies Stealing Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl Ring, And So Does Kraft

Russian President Vladimir Putin is denying claims that he stole a Super Bowl ring belonging to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft:

Russian President Vladimir Putin is denying insinuations that he stole New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring that’s on display in the Kremlin, but says he’s ready to buy him another ring as a gift.

Putin was reacting Sunday through a spokesman to a New York Post story quoting remarks made by Kraft at an awards gala at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel last Thursday.

“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,'” Kraft said, as quoted by the Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

(…)

“Back in 2005 I stood behind the president’s back and I saw how that ring was presented to him. All that talk about some kind of pressure that was exerted on him [Kraft] should be the subject of a detailed talk with psychoanalysts, I think,” Peskov told The Associated Press.

“At the same time, I am aware that this gentleman [Kraft] is feeling such a horrible pain about the 2005 loss,” Peskov said. “The president will be ready to send him another ring as a gift, which he [Putin] can buy with his own money.”

Of course, it turns out that Kraft’s story may be just that, a story:

Stacey James, a spokesperson for the Kraft Group, the holding company for Kraft’s business ventures, including the Patriots, said Sunday that the Post article shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert retells for laughs,” James said in a statement. “He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin, and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin. In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy. “

The statement said “an added benefit from the attention this story gathered eight years ago was the creation of some Patriots fan clubs in Russia.”

By “humorous, anecdotal story,” of course,  he means completely untrue. I knew that the story of Vladimir Putin: International Jewel Thief was too good to be true.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Butch Bracknell says:

    Or, Kraft is still playing the game he played in 2005 and being a good soldier. It’s possible he spoke out of school and now is backing away from such a public accusation, even if its true. I have no love for Kraft or the Patriots, but if I have to choose sides between a rich benevolent patrician philanthropist an a rich oligarchical tyrant, Ill go with the old man.

  2. Andre Kenji says:

    It´s better to be robbed than to gift a thug.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Just imagine if that ring was something actually worth stealing?

  4. rudderpedals says:

    How about we trade Vlad a crate of shiny new rings for backing out of Syria? Hell, throw in Robert Kraft too.

  5. gVOR08 says:

    I’d want to find out how much business the Kraft Group does with Russia before I offered any speculation about the truth behind this story.