Vladimir Putin reportedly stole Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring in 2005 when the New England Patriots’ owner was visiting St. Petersburg, Russia, with other business executives.
At the time of the ring ripoff, Kraft, the owner of the team since 1994, put out a statement that said that the Russian president liked the $25,000 ring so much that “I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin.”
It turns out that this was just spin. According to Robert Kraft, the real story is that Putin simply walked off with his championship bling.
Kraft publicly explained what happened Thursday night at the Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria. “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.”
The Patriots owner, however, wanted Putin to return the 4.94 carat ring, but White House officials tried to convince him otherwise. “It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present,” White House officials told Kraft, who reluctantly gave way and issued the statement in the interests of international diplomacy. “I really didn’t [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on eBay.”
The Super Bowl ring reportedly is kept in the Kremlin library in Moscow. Fortunately, Bob Kraft has two other Super Bowl rings thanks to the powerful Bill Belichick-Tom Brady combination.
A former KGB officer, Putin — who recently announced his divorce from his wife of 30 years — has been the most powerful politician in Russia for over a decade. He was president of Russia from 2000 to 2008 and prime minister from 2009 to 20012. Although the results were disputed by opposition candidates, he was elected to a third presidential term in March 2012 and will serve for six years under changes made to Russian law.
Are you surprised that there was a cover-up involved in the Putin Super Bowl Ring incident?