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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave President Trump a commemorative Super Bowl ring after the team’s visit to the White House in April.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James told USA TODAY Sports that during the team’s championship visit, Trump mentioned to Kraft, a longtime friend, how honored he was that the Patriots were the first team to visit the White House during his presidency.
Although the team came bearing traditional gifts on that occasion — a jersey and a helmet — Kraft decided that another gesture was necessary since New England was the first pro team to visit under the Trump administration.
James said that of the five times the Patriots have visited the White House, this one included the best treatment — in Kraft’s eyes — by allowing the most time with the President and including the most impressive White House tour.
The NFL covers the cost of 150 rings for Super Bowl franchises, which are given to players, coaches, staff members and team executives. The league does not have a specific rule on who can receive a Super Bowl ring, but any extra costs for commemorative rings are accounted for by the team. Teams are allowed to customize their rings to suit their preferences and can order additional rings if they foot the bill.
James said that Trump received a customized ring that mirrored what Patriots players and staff received following their Super Bowl victory. Those rings were crafted in 10-karat white gold and featured 280 diamonds with the words “World Champions” on the front. The inside of the ring includes, “We are all Patriots” and “greatest comeback ever,” a nod to the 31 unanswered points scored against the Falcons in the most dramatic comeback win in Super Bowl history.
In this instance, Kraft went to the same jeweler, Minnesota-based Jostens — which has crafted SB rings for more than 30 of the NFL’s 51 Super Bowl-winning teams — to have the ring made for Trump.
James said the Patriots have almost always paid more than what the NFL expensed for the rings, and that this year’s ring, according to Josten’s, is the “biggest Super Bowl ring” to date. No exact price tag was provided. In 2015, Kraft ordered rings valued at $36,500 each or approximately $5.5 million in total, according to ESPN. Those rings featured 200 diamonds.
According to federal guidelines, when the President receives a personal gift from a member of the American public that exceeds a certain amount, that gift must be publicly disclosed in financial disclosure reports filed each year by the President.
Walter Shaub, who until last month was the director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, said that Trump can accept the gift.
But if the ring’s value exceeds $375 — the reporting threshold — Shaub said Trump would have to disclose it in next year’s financial disclosure reports.
“People should watch closely to see if he discloses that,” Shaub said in an interview. “If not, it’s a violation of the Ethics in Government Act.”
James said the thought was always for the Super Bowl ring to be a part of Trump’s Presidential Library once his presidency is over.
Calls made to the White House by USA TODAY Sports were not immediately returned.
r/Patriots was the first to report of Trump receiving a Super Bowl ring.”
Contributing: Heidi Przybyla, USA TODAY