Kraft, Putin Dispute Gifted Super Bowl Ring
Russian president Vladimir Putin disputes New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft‘s claim the he stole Kraft’s Super Bowl ring during a 2005 visit.
Kraft, who was being honored at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria on Thursday night, retold the story of his encounter with Putin.
“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, 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.”
When the story first broke in 2005, Kraft stated that he gave the ring to Putin as a gift. He spoke with then-president George W. Bush and was advised to say it was given as a gift in the interest of U.S.- Soviet relations.
The Kraft Group released a statement clarifying the owner’s comments.
“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,” the statement said. “In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman on behalf of the Russian president, added that Putin is willing to reimburse Kraft if the Patriots owner were to ask.