1. This is what a Patriots Super Bowl ring looks like.
2. In 2005, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft took off his ring and handed it to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reportedly said, “I could kill somebody with this ring,” before putting it in his pocket and walking off.
At the time Kraft said he gave away the ring as a gift.
“President Putin, a great and knowledgable 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.”
3. But last week Kraft said the ring was actually stolen, the New York Post reported. He seemed pretty bummed.
“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 told the 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.”
4. He said the Bush Administration pressured him to say he had given the ring as a gift, “in the interest of U.S.-Soviet relations.” SOVIET.
“It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
5. Putin’s people weren’t happy with the new narrative.
“What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird,” Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said to CNN. “I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift.”
6. So then the Patriots were all like, “This is just a funny joke Kraft likes to tell.” Haha.
“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert re-tells for laughs. He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin,” a team spokesman said. “In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”
7. But wait. Kraft’s late-wife Myra gave an interview in 2007 where she said the ring was stolen by Putin.
8. From the Jewish Russian Telegraph:
[He was told], ‘You’ve got to do something to put this at rest,’ so Robert said ‘fine’ and came up with some statement about the warm fuzzy feelings he had being in Russia. Of course, his forebears were probably raped and pillaged by these people, but Robert had to make it sound good,” she says. “That’s what it is. And so he got another one.”
9. So what happened? Maybe Kraft recalled that Putin is a former secret agent, supersonic fighter jet pilot, who took down a tiger with a tranquilizer gun and may be behind the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko, who leveled the charge on his deathbed.
A Wikileaks cable in 2010 confirmed U.S. and Spain suspicion of Putin’s involvement in the assassination. So yeah, about that ring? Totally a gift.