Recently, basketball star Dennis Rodman hinted that he might go to Russia to attempt to get WNBA player Brittney Griner freed.
Rodman previously had shocked the world when he visited North Korea, and the trip didn’t go completely bananas. Rodman has shown he can work with people on both sides of the political aisle.
After the state department discouraged it, Rodman reversed course, as we reported:
In addition to the U.S. government, MSNBC was also doubtful, in their opinion, that Rodman would be well received by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There’s no way Vladimir Putin bonds with Rodman like the basketball legend has with Kim Jong Un.
It’s unclear if the MSNBC opinion piece played any role in Rodman’s course reversal. It was more than likely the state department’s discouragement. It would certainly be a mess if somehow Rodman got stuck in Russia. The opinion writer also said:
Even if Rodman does touch down in Moscow this week, it’s unclear who his point of contact would be for any back-channel talks. As it stands, Griner already has the full support of the State Department, which in May declared that she had been “wrongfully detained.” Among the options currently being discussed as Griner appeals her case in the Russian courts is a prisoner swap, potentially trading the WNBA player and American executive Paul Whelan for Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. And Rodman would more likely hurt that negotiation than help it, an unnamed U.S. official told NBC News.
We’ll be monitoring the Griner-Russia situation. It does seem Rodman is staying put for now.
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