Vladimir Putin has done some outlandish things, but I think this takes the trophy. Or the ring. The Super Bowl Ring.
You might recall that Kraft in 2005 joined a cadre of businessmen to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg. The Patriots owner walked into that meeting with a jewel-laced Super Bowl XXXIX ring on his finger, but left empty-handed.
“I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring,” Kraft said at the time, per The Boston Globe. Putin “was clearly taken with its uniqueness … at that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin.”
Not so fast. Kraft now admits Putin nabbed the ring — worth upwards of $25,000 — without his consent.
“I took out the ring and showed it to (Putin),” Kraft said this week, per the New York Post. “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.”
That’s the head of the Party (and State) of Crooks and Thieves: leading by example!
The only thing that is worse than Putin’s in-your-face thievery is the Bush administration’s craven response:
Kraft kept his wits about him and complied with a call from the White House, in which a George W. Bush handler told him: ” ‘It would really be in the best interest of U.S.-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.’ “
FFS. No wonder Putin thinks he can get away with about anything when dealing with the US. Because he can. I think he tries this stuff to see what he can get away with. He gets away with it . . . so he pushes it even more. He’ll keep pushing until someone pushes back.
Here’s my idea. Have Ray Lewis let Putin hold his Super Bowl ring, and pray that Putin tries to pocket it. And we can make money off this by putting it all on pay-per-view.