And now he’s been accused of stealing a Super Bowl ring.
Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, met Putin briefly in Russia in 2005. Kraft was showing off his Super Bowl ring, Putin inspected the ring, reportedly said “I can kill someone with this ring,” then pocketed it and walked off, surrounded by his presidential security detail.
The ring, valued at $25,000, has since been on display at the Kremlin. Putin has offered to have a custom ring of similar value sent to Kraft and has referred to this incident as a “complicated international problem.”
The White House has even weighed in, stating that it would be in the best interest of US-Russian relations for Kraft to consider the “theft” a gift.
Stacey James, a Kraft spokesperson, says there are no hard feelings: “It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert retells for laughs. He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin, and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin. In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”