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Old 06-16-2013, 08:14 AM  
notorious notorious is offline
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Robert Kraft: Vladimir Putin stole my Super Bowl ring


Robert Kraft: Vladimir Putin stole my Super Bowl ring



By Doug Farrar


Robert Kraft and Vladimir Putin in 2005: Kraft is eyeing his ring with good reason. (AP)

The Super Bowl ring is one of the greatest symbols of athletic triumph. NFL players have been known to break down when they can finally fit that particular bit of jewelry on their fingers, and I've met enough former players, coaches, and executives who would never be separated from their rings to know that the buzz lasts forever. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft has three such rings from his team's wins in Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, and XXXIX. The ring Kraft won for that last Super Bowl, at the end of the 2004 season, went missing in a very unusual way.

As the story goes, Kraft met Russian President Vladimir Putin at a gathering of business and political leaders at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, in June of 2005. Kraft and Putin talked a while, Kraft took off his ring to show it to Putin, and Putin promptly put the ring in his pocket and walked off.

"I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring, Kraft said in a subsequent statement. Putin was clearly taken with its uniqueness."

At that point, 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."

But as Kraft said recently, per the New York Post, that's not what really happened.

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 during the Carnegie Halls Medal of Excellence gala in New York City.I put my hand out, and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.

Were it not for the intervention of the White House, this could have gotten ugly. Kraft wanted his ring back, obviously not intimidated by Putin's alleged ability to kill somebody with it. The ring came in at 4.94 carats and was worth over $25,000, and Kraft was not amused. He said that he got a call from the George W. Bush-led White House, telling him that it would really be in the best interests of relations between the two countries if Kraft would change the story and say the ring was a gift.

Kraft was unmoved.


I really didnt [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I dont 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.

According to the Post, the ring is now kept in the Kremlin library -- presumably in the "Ill-Gotten Booty" section.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Well, to be fair the Patriots stole those rings by cheating.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #3
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:41 AM   #4
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Well, to be fair the Patriots stole those rings by cheating.
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:43 AM   #5
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Old 06-16-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:07 AM   #7
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:15 AM   #8
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Wow, how childish of the Russian leader?
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:30 AM   #9
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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Russian president: I did not steal Super Bowl ring
By Alla Eshchenko and Faith Karimi, CNN
updated 9:22 AM EDT, Sun June 16, 2013

Moscow (CNN) -- Russia's president is fighting back: No, he did not steal a Super Bowl ring. And no, he's not rocking the diamond-encrusted prize on his finger, either.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman denied accusations that the leader kept a Super Bowl ring that New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft wanted back.

Both sides agree that the ring, with its 124 diamonds, changed hands during Kraft's visit to St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2005.

"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, according to the New York Post. "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out."

Kraft made the comments at an awards gala Thursday night in New York.

A few days after the incident occurred, amid confusion as to whether the ring was a present or was kept by mistake, Kraft issued a statement that said it was a gift.

That's the way Putin sees it, the president's spokesman said Sunday.

"What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird," 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."

The 4.94-carat ring is in the Kremlin's library, where all official state gifts are kept, he said.

Kraft said when he demanded his ring back, the White House intervened and asked him to claim it was a gift to Putin to avoid souring relations with Russia, according to the Post. As a patriot, Kraft says, he played along. The White House has not responded to the claim.

The New England Patriots declined to comment Saturday.

The jewelry is worth more than $15,000, according to multiple reports from 2005, but Kraft said it had sentimental value due to his name being engraved on it.

There is some solace for Kraft, as he also received rings for the Patriots' Super Bowl victories in the 2001 and 2003 seasons.

Super Bowl rings can fetch much more when they are auctioned, depending on who wore them. The 1991 Super Bowl ring of Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor sold last year at auction for more than $230,000. There were rumors Charlie Sheen bought the ring, but the actor later denied it.

At least one ring has been used to raise money for charity. In 2008, former Patriots defensive player Je'Rod Cherry raffled off one of his three rings to raise $150,000 for several children's charities.

CNN's Alla Eshchenko reported from Moscow, and Faith Karimi reported and wrote from Atlanta.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:58 AM   #11
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #12
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:01 AM   #13
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Well this is certainly what led Romney to say that Russia is our number 1 enemy. They be stealing from rich white guys.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:02 AM   #14
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:06 AM   #15
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