What do you do when the president of Russia steals one of your Super Bowl championship rings? Well, apparently if you’re Patriots owner Robert Kraft, you do nothing and stay quiet about the whole thing for about eight years.
In a story published by the New York Post this week, Kraft reveals that Putin actually pocketed the ring during a meeting for business executives in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2005. After sharing a handshake and a short conversation, Kraft offered the ring up as a “show-and-tell” piece. Putin took that as an opportunity to acquire some new bling.
“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.“I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Then, according to the Post, the Patriots owner got a call from the White House. Seriously.
Kraft really wanted the 4.94-carat bauble back, he said Thursday, admitting he’d gotten a call from the George W. Bush-run White House, saying, “‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.” (In fact the Soviet Union had collapsed 14 years earlier.)
But, Kraft said, “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.’ ” The ring is now reportedly kept in the Kremlin library.
I’m sure Kraft was pretty upset that his $25K ring got jacked, but I think he made the smart play here. If you know anything about Russia and/or Vladimir Putin, you should prooooobably remain quiet and step aside when he pockets a ring that he says he could kill someone with.
Putin responds!…Kind of. The spokesman for the Russian president reached out to CNN and stated that Kraft’s claim is not true.
“What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift.”