Could a diamond-studded Super Bowl ring wind up being at the center of the next United States-Russia international incident?
Rocky had to head over to Russia to take care of some unfinished business, and now New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft may have to as well. Apparently, Kraft had simply been hoping to show off one of his Super Bowl rings to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a 2005 meeting in Saint Petersburg.
However, as Kraft explained to those in attendance at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala, Putin never intended to simply look at the $25,000 ring.
“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.’ I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Unfortunately, the George Bush-led White House would not let Kraft pull a Rocky, hop overseas, and start throwing punches. Interestingly, Kraft got a call from the government, imploring him to make it look like the ring was a gift.
“‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
Shortly after Putin took the ring, Kraft released the following statement:
“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.”
We now know, however, that the 4.94-carat piece of NFL history was not so much a gift from Kraft to Putin.
The ring is now reportedly kept in the Kremlin library. We get the feeling that is where the ring is going to stay.