The search for a “gifted” Super Bowl ring adds new purpose on a trip to Russia
Occasionally a news article, like a dessert dish, can become a guilty pleasure. Such was the case in mid-June when a tale that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft had been telling privately since 2005 was finally made public after he told it to a larger audience at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. As his story goes, Kraft was with an American business delegation in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2005 and pulled out his Super Bowl ring to show Russian President Vladimir Putin. The New York Post reported that Kraft put his hands out to receive the ring back from Putin, but Putin instead put the ring in his pocket “and three KGB guys got around him and walked out,” in Kraft’s words.
Putin’s version of the event, as told by a spokesman who was present for the “exchange,” was that the ring was presented to Putin as a gift. The spokesman then ramped up the rhetoric by suggesting that the story Kraft has been telling should be “the subject of a detailed talk with psychoanalysts.” Ouch! As if the tale needed more garnish, Kraft says that the White House put pressure on him to go along with the story that the ring was a gift so as to further U.S.–Russia relations.