Vladimir Putin stole a Super Bowl ringsource • cbssports.com
It all started in 2005, when Patriots owner Robert Kraft was in Russia with Sandy Weill, a friend who was the president of Citi group at the time of the trip. Kraft had just received his ring for the Pats’ win in Super Bowl XXXIX, so he decided to show the ring to Weill.
After seeing it, Weill had what turned out to be a horrible idea: “Show the ring to Putin.”
Way more than a horrible idea…
“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 said in 2013. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Despite the fact that Putin walked off with the ring, Kraft still wanted the $25,000 piece of jewelry returned. However, he ended up giving up on his quest to get the ring back when White House called and told Kraft that starting World War III over a Super Bowl ring probably wouldn’t be the best idea.
“It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present,” Kraft said he was told on the White House call in 2005. “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.’”