NFL

Pats Owner confirms Vladimir Putin stole his Super Bowl ring

6/16/13 in NFL   |   IvanRogers   |   1352 respect

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft once proudly told the tale of how he parted with his Super Bowl after presenting it as a gift to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with him in 2005. But in his recent remarks, Robert Kraft claims what appeared as an act of goodwill was nothing more than a shameful act of thievery. Robert Kraft wanted to set the record straight regarding the true story behind the then reported gift, which parallels the tale his late wife, Myra, initially shared while telling how Vladimir Putin ended in custody of the Super Bowl ring.
 
Robert Kraft explained that the incident took place while on a visit with a group of American businessmen to St. Petersburg in 2005. After Robert Kraft showed Vladimir Putin the Super Bowl ring, signifying the hard work and years of undying effort his organization and he himself put into establish the New England Patriots as the one of the best teams in the league, Putin pocketed ring, valued around $25,000.
 
 “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,’ ” Robert Kraft recently told a crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
 
Robert Kraft said he complained to a U.S. official that Vladimir Putin had stolen his Super Bowl ring, and would really like to have it back now. But later, he received a phone call from the Bush White House and was told it was best to let go of his Super Bowl ring since attempts to retrieve it could strain the U.S.-Russian relations.
 
“‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present,” Robert Kraft said George W. Bush advised him.
 
But Robert Kraft didn’t want to give up something so easily that held such a personal meaning for him: “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.”
 
“There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, ‘It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.’”
 
So, at the behest of the White House, Robert Kraft released a statement to disperse the issue at the time.
 
“President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness,” said Robert Kraft. “I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and [his] leadership.”
 
Now, Robert Kraft wants his diamond-encrusted bauble back. According to the New York Post, the Super Bowl ring in question is reportedly being kept in the Kremlin library.
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