Robert Kraft, a longtime friend of the US president, awarded Trump a Super Bowl championship ring after the teams celebratory trip to the White House
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft awarded Donald Trump a Super Bowl championship ring after the teams valedictory trip to the White House in April.
Team spokesperson Stacey James told USA Today that Kraft was so impressed by the teams first-class treatment during their April visit that he felt compelled to have a championship ring crafted for the US president in addition to the traditional gifts a customized jersey and a helmet theyd brought on the day.
The Patriots have made five visits to the White House after each of their five Super Bowl titles, all since the 2001 season. James said Kraft, who was one of at least seven NFL team owners who gave $1m each to Trumps inaugural committee, said this one was the best of the five, with the most time spent with the president and the most expansive tour of the executive mansion.
The NFL pays for the cost of 150 rings for the winning team in the Super Bowl, which are distributed to players, coaches, staff members and front-office executives and typically run between $5,000 and $7,000 apiece. James told USA Today that Trumps ring, engraved with his name by Minnesota-based manufacturer Jostens, was nearly identical to the bauble given to the players and staff.
Crafted in 10-karat white gold with a carat weight of 5.1 and lined with 283 diamonds, the team claims its the largest Super Bowl ring ever created. The design includes the Super Bowl LI logo, the games final score and the teams final record of 17-2. A series of quotes enscribed on the arbor includes: UNEQUIVOCALLY THE SWEETEST, WE ARE ALL PATRIOTS and GREATEST COMEBACK EVER, referencing the teams dramatic comeback from 25 points down late in the third quarter.
Trump offered high praise of the Patriots when he received the team on the South Lawn in April, likening their record-breaking comeback to his own improbable victory in Novembers election.
With your backs against the wall, and the pundits good old pundits; boy, theyre wrong a lot, arent they saying you couldnt do it, the game was over, you pulled off the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time, one of the greatest comebacks of all time but the greatest Super Bowl comeback of all time, he said. And that was just special. I think I looked at odds and they gave you less than one half of 1% of winning the game.
Trump said Kraft, old friends and neighbors for years in Palm Beach, and the longtime coach Bill Belichick had built a culture dedicated to winning. He added: Whether youre trying to win a Super Bowl or rebuild our country, as coach Belichick would say, there are no days off.
Kraft was equally concilitory when he took the lecturn with Trump standing directly behind him.
The Patriots owner said: A very good friend of mine for over 25 years, a man who is as mentally tough and hard-working as anybody I know, launched a campaign for the presidency against 16 career politicians, facing odds almost as long as we faced in the fourth quarter.
Kraft turned to look at Trump, who smiled. He persevered to become the 45th president of the United States.
He added: Its a distinct honor for us to celebrate what was unequivocally our sweetest championship with a very good friend and somebody whose mental toughness and strength I greatly admire.