As every player in the NFL knows, it's not easy to get your hands on a Super Bowl ring. If you want a ring, you either have to play for the team that wins the Super Bowl (like players, coaches, team owners, trainers, staff) and sometimes even lucky fans are given rings by the winning teams, buy from auction companies-- or you can do what Vladimir Putin did, become the president of a nuclear power.
Russian President Vladimir Putin once supposedly stole the ring a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. It all started in 2005, when Patriots owner Robert Kraft was in Russia with Sandy Weill, a friend who was the president of Citi group at the time of the trip. Kraft had just received his ring for the Pats' win in Super Bowl XXXIX, so he decided to show the ring to Weill.
After seeing it, Weill had what turned out to be a horrible idea: "Show the ring to Putin." Kraft actually did an interview about the ring for an episode of NFL Films' upcoming series called 50 Rings, 50 Days. The incident took place when the Patriots had beaten the Philadelphia Eagles at Super Bowl XXXIX and Kraft, along with Rupert Murdoch and others, met with Putin in Russia in an attempt to "stimulate commerce between the United States and Russia," according to Boston.com.
Basically, Kraft is now down a ring, and he's likely never going to see it again.
The Patriots owner actually recounted the story for the first time back in 2013, and during that interview, he offered a few more details.
"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 in 2013. "I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out."
Despite the fact that Putin walked off with the ring, Kraft still wanted the $25,000 piece of jewelry returned. However, he ended up giving up on his quest to get the ring back when White House called and told Kraft that starting World War III over a Super Bowl ring probably wouldn't be the best idea.
"It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present," Kraft said he was told on the White House call in 2005. "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.'"
Days later, a statement came from Kraft, and all of the sudden, the owner's stolen Super Bowl ring was now officially a "gift" to Russia.
"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," Kraft's 2005 statement said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and American businessmen (L-R) inculde Head of the Kraft group of companies Robert Kraft pose for photographers during their meeting in St. Petersburg, 25 June 2005.
But summer in 2013, reports emerged that Kraft never intended to give the ring to Putin, per the New York Post's "Page Six" staff. Sen. John McCain called on Putin to return it in September 2013, but unless it has been secretly returned, the ring remains in Russia. That’s the only international incident a Super Bowl ring has created... so far.
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