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Did Russian President Vladimir Putin Steal Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl XXXIX Ring?
Who is more believable: a billionaire industrialist or a former Soviet KGB officer-turned-residential dictator?
This is the question a lot of people are asking today after Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, accused Vladimir Putin of stealing his Super Bowl ring during a visit to Russia back in 2005.
The accusation came on Thursday night. Speaking at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, Kraft had this to say of his 2005 meeting with Vladdy:
“I took out the ring and show it to him, 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.”
Putin, meanwhile insists that the ring was given to him as a gift, and one of his spokesmen recently told CNN that Kraft’s assertion that Putin stole the ring is “weird.”
Of course, Putin’s spokesman is right. This whole thing is weird. And probably the biggest reason for the weirdness is the fact that, after meeting Putin in 2005, Kraft released a statement to the press explaining that he gave the ring to Putin as a gift.
So does Kraft have a good explanation for that 2005 statement? He sure does. He says that after getting home from Russia he really wanted to get his 4.94-carat, $25,000 ring from Super Bowl XXXIX back, so he starting making some calls. But then he got a call from President George W. Bush saying that it would be in the best interest of US-Russian relations if Kraft would just let it go—and that’s when Kraft came out and said he gave the ring to Putin.
So who do you believe? Personally, I’m going to go with Robert Kraft. Putin may have modernized the Russian economy and whatnot, but he’s still a pretty shady character who totally seems like the kind of guy who would steal some rich American dude’s fancy diamond ring just for kicks.
But I could be wrong.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]