Dennis Rodman, a player who has been inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame, will not be going to Russia anymore to negotiate Brittney Griner’s release.
On Monday, Rodman reversed his decision after hearing what State Department Spokesperson Ned Price had to say to ABC News about what would happen if Rodman headed to Russia. “He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government,” he said.
“We believe that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts,” Price told the outlet.
Because of the current conflict between Russia and Ukraine, he is also recommending that no citizens of the United States go to the European nation at this time. Rodman first said on Sunday that he will fly to Russia this week in order to negotiate Griner’s release from jail. This statement was made to NBC News.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” said Rodman. “I’m trying to go this week.”
On August 4th, Griner was found guilty of possessing illegal drugs and sentenced to nine years in a Russian jail. In February, she was reportedly found to be carrying cannabis in vape canisters while transiting through a Moscow airport.
On August 15, her legal representatives submitted an appeal, although the specifics of the appeal are yet unknown.
In recent years, Rodman has been acting in the capacity of an unofficial diplomatic ally on behalf of the United States of America. Following Rodman’s controversial appearance in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2013, when he staged a basketball demonstration, Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, became a buddy of Rodman.
Since, Rodman has made many trips back and forth to North Korea in an effort to defuse the growing tensions between the country and the United States, particularly with the release of the Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae.
In 2013, a court in North Korea found Bae guilty of plotting to overthrow the government of that nation and sentenced him to 15 years of forced labor as a punishment. He was surprisingly released when Rodman started a dialogue with Kim about the injustice of Bae’s detention.
“I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North Korea or as I call him “Kim,” to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,” Rodman said on Twitter back almost a decade ago in 2013.
After visiting Moscow while on a basketball tour earlier that year, Rodman shared his impressions of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Fox Business, describing him as a “cool guy.”
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