Vladimir Putin stole a Super Bowl ring from Robert Kraft

Bizarre moments beyond pop culture, politics, and sports don’t happen very often, but a head of state stealing inexplicable jewelry from a billionaire entrepreneur is certainly one of those surreal occurrences.

Russian President Vladimir Putin once stole a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the details are somewhat disturbing, in a scenario that really doesn’t make sense, and now even more so, Given the current cultural context.

The current state of geopolitics and international relations is forcing us to look back at the moments when the Russian leader was welcomed at major US sporting events and celebrated by Hollywood A-listers – something that seems so different now. When Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost a month.

The Super Bowl ring debacle has been well-reported and speculated about for years, with no really conclusive answer.

Here’s what went down.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft claimed that the Russian president stole his Super Bowl ring back in 2005.

The incident occurred after the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX and, according to Boston, along with Kraft, Rupert Murdoch and others, accompanied Putin in Russia in an attempt to “encourage commerce between the United States and Russia”. had met. com.

The group met with Putin at a press conference at the Konstantinovsky Palace near St Petersburg, where then-Citigroup chairman Sandy Weil suggested that Kraft show the politician his $25,000 4.94-carat ring.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft claimed that his Super Bowl ring was stolen by Russian President Vladimir Putin back in 2005.
Getty Images

“I took out the ring and showed it [Putin]And he put it on and he went, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft said in 2013, via New York Post,

“I held out my hand and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB boys turned around him and left.”

At the time, Kraft said she had given the ring as a gift, but details emerged later in 2020 that she had received a call from the White House at the time, urging her to say that she had caused international tension. To avoid escalation, the ring was gifted to Putin.

“It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you wanted to give the ring as a gift,” Kraft said on a 2005 White House call, according to CBS.

“I didn’t really [want to], I had an emotional connection to the ring, it has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on ebay. There was a pause at the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, ‘It would really be in your best interest if you wanted to give the ring as a gift.'”

Kraft then issued a statement “confirming” that she had given the ring as a gift.

“I decided to give him the ring as a token of respect and admiration for the leadership of the Russian people and President Putin,” the statement read at the time, according to CBS.

Follow our live blog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) and American businessman (L-R) Antonio Goto, Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, John Farsi, President and CEO of International Paper, James Mulva, President of ConocoPhillips, Jerry Spear, President of Tishman-Spear Properties, Kraft Group Chief Executive Officer Robert Kraft, United Technologies CEO George David, News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, Citigroup Chairman Sanford Weil, IBM CEO Samuel J. Palmisano, Intel Chief Executive Craig Barrett, Citigroup CEO of Global Banking Michael Klein pose for photographers during their visit. Meeting in St. Petersburg, 25 June 2005.
Alexander Nikolaev / AFP via Getty Images

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