Robert Kraft Demands His Super Bowl Ring Back From Vladimir Putin


New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft weighed in on a piece of lore that’s been circulating for nearly 20 years at the Netflix roast of Tom Brady on Sunday night, in that Vladimir Putin reportedly “stole” his Super Bowl ring during a visit to Russia in 2005. And Kraft did not mince words aimed at the Russian leader.

As the story goes, Kraft, along with Rupert Murdoch and then-Citigroup president Sandy Weill, had met with Putin in Russia in an attempt to “stimulate commerce between the United States and Russia.” Having defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX the year before, it was suggested that Kraft show Putin his 4.94 carat diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring, which Putin then allegedly pocketed.

While taking to the stage during the roast, which was part of the Netflix is a Joke festival, Kraft said unequivocally: “In case Vladimir Putin, you’re watching, give me my f–king ring back will ya?”

Robert Kraft: “In case Vladimir Putin, you’re watching… give me my f***ing ring back will ya”

— CJ Fogler account may or may not be notable (@cjzero) May 6, 2024

Although media reports conflicted at the time on whether the ring was a gift or had in fact been stolen, Kraft reportedly recounted the story during the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence gala in 2013.

“I took out the ring and showed it to him, and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,'” Kraft told the crowd. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

However, in Jeff Benedict’s 2020 book about the Patriots, The Dynasty: The Inside Story of the NFL’s Most Successful and Controversial Franchise, he wrote that Kraft had been pressured by the Bush administration at the time that it “would be in the country’s best interest” to say that the ring had been a gift to Putin.

“The specter of Russia’s president stealing jewelry from the owner of America’s highest-profile sports team was detrimental to the already shaky diplomatic relations between the two superpowers,” Benedict wrote. “Kraft wasn’t happy. After hanging up, he begrudgingly decided that under the circumstances he would honor the Bush administration’s request.”

Kraft likewise recounted the story in the 2024 Apple TV+ series, The Dynasty.

The one when Robert Kraft met Vladimir Putin…

Completely forgot about this ??#ForeverNE

— Mike McDaniel (@MikMcDaniel) March 9, 2024

In either case, it seems unlikely that Kraft will ever see the bauble again, reportedly worth more than $25,000—but at least he’s making his umbrages known. And of course, it doesn’t hurt the he’s got five others, thanks to Brady and former head coach Bill Belichick.

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