While the New England Patriots have had an incredible amount of recent success, they’re far from a beloved franchise. Thanks to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, the club developed a reputation outside of Massachusetts; they became a boring winning machine, unafraid of bending the rules to stay on top. Owner Robert Kraft, however, is in the process of doing something much more likable.
While Kraft owns six Super Bowl rings, his jewelry box is about to get a bit emptier. The New England Patriots owner is selling off one of his championship rings for the best possible reason.
Robert Kraft’s road to owning the New England Patriots
Since the year 2000, the New England Patriots have been a modern dynasty. While Bill Belichick and Tom Brady get most of the credit, owner Robert Kraft has played a role in the club’s success.
Kraft, however, started out as a fan of the team rather than its owner. In 1985, he bought the rights to the Foxboro Racetrack and the additional land around the football stadium; several years later, he acquired the rights to the main stadium and the venue’s lease to the Patriots. His plan was starting to come together.
Since he held the lease, Kraft had all the leverage; when various Patriots owners tried to move the team or buy their way out of the deal, he held firm. Eventually, that resolve paid off. When James Orthwein decided to sell the team, Kraft was first in line.
While he broke his personal financial rules to get the job done, Kraft took over the New England Patriots in 1994. While they had some early success with Bill Parcells at the helm, everything changed when a coach by the name of Bill Belichick took over. From there, the rest is history.
Selling off a Super Bowl ring for a good cause
In Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots famously came back from 28-3 lead to stun the Atlanta Falcons. That win gave Robert Kraft his fifth championship ring; it won’t be in his possession, however, for too much longer.
Kraft will be selling that Super Bowl ring as part of the All-In Challenge, a digital fundraiser powered by Fanatics with the ultimate goal of fighting food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. While plenty of celebrities are auctioning off unique items and experiences, Kraft’s has to be one of the most over the top.
According to the auction listing, the ring includes 283 diamonds totaling 5.1 karats; the piece itself is made of 10-karat white gold. If that’s not enough, the winning bidder will also be flown to Foxboro to receive the ring from Kraft himself. Bidding started at $75,000 and, as of Tuesday, May 12, had already reached $825,000.
“I thought about what is going on at this time and wanted to give something of extreme value in support of our health care workers,” Kraft explained. “So I thought it would be good to give this ring, our fifth Super Bowl win, because it showed how we came back.”
Robert Kraft isn’t the only NFL figure pitching in
While Robert Kraft may be the only man selling his Super Bowl ring for a good cause, he won’t be the only one taking a hit for charity. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will also be on the hook when the football season eventually begins.
In addition to the 2020 NFL draft, the league also ran a virtual “Draft-A-Thon” to raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts. While fans were able to make donations, they could also enter various charitable auctions. One of the prizes up for grabs was a chance to watch a Monday Night Football game with Roger Goodell.
The good news was that particular auction raised more than a quarter of a million dollars. There was a catch, however, as David Portnoy of Barstool Sports was the winning bidder.
On the whole, it’s safe to say most NFL fans don’t care for Robert Kraft or Roger Goodell. In this case, though, it’s tough to take issue with their actions.