With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Robert Kraft, owner of New England Patriots, is aiming for his fifth super bowl win. However, out of the four Super Bowl rings, he just has three and the missing one is bizarrely in possession of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The unfortunate event took place when Kraft was on a business trip to Russia in 2005, where he met Putin along with his friend Sandy Weill. The meeting took place right after New England Patriots' win in Super Bowl XXXIX. Kraft showed the ring to the Russian president, and Putin tried the ring on — and never gave it back.
The ring, in the possession of the Russian president since 2005, features 124 diamonds.
He recalls being told by Putin that he could “kill someone with that ring.”
“I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out,” he added.
Kraft said he really wanted the ring back but before he could release a statement he got a call from the then U.S. President George W. Bush’s White House saying, “It would really be in the best interest of U.S.-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
He replied, “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.”
Soon after the call Kraft released a statement that read, “President Putin, a great and knowledgeable sports fan, was clearly taken with its uniqueness. 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.”
A few years later, Putin denied the meeting and that he had the ring but offered to have a replacement made for Kraft.
The ring is now reportedly kept in the Kremlin library, where many foreigners’ gifts are kept.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: Reuters