Super Bowl champion New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, clearly is not as tough a guy as his players.
He allowed – allowed, mind you – Russian president Vladimir Putin to steal his $25,000 Super Bowl ring in 2005!
Kraft told the bizarre story of how Putin simply walked off with his ring, and how the then-Bush administration told Kraft to drop the issue, to the New York Post on Thursday:
“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.”
The meek Kraft didn’t gently demand, let alone angrily demand, his 4.94 carat ring back. And then came the phone call.
Kraft said someone from the Bush administration called to persuade him to just suck it up in the interest of international relations.
“It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present,” the White House caller told Kraft, the article said.
According to the Post:
But, Kraft said, “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.’ ” The ring is now reportedly kept in the Kremlin library.
Which could explain Kraft’s statement after one of those hard-earned rings went off to Russia:
President Putin, a great and knowledgeable 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.
Wimp! A man who owns the world champion “Brady Bunch” was afraid of a few KGB guys in post Cold-War 2005? Really?
I was never a fan. But, well, Tim Tebow changes everything…
More from the New York Post.