Dennis Rodman has now canceled his plans to get involved in the Brittney Griner case after having recently said he would be making a trip to Russia.
The Hall of Famer had revealed his plans to NBC News over the weekend. Rodman said that he received permission to help bring Griner home. However, the U.S. State Department currently has an advisory in place which urges Americans not to travel to Russia. The United States continues to consider Griner “wrongfully detained.”
Rodman reportedly backs out of the plans after the government urged him to cancel the trip. Griner was sentenced to nine years in Russian prison earlier this month. Rodman wanted to help bring Griner back to U.S. soil. He claims to know Russian President Vladimir Putin “too well.”
Rodman is famous—or perhaps infamous—for his friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. However, while Rodman’s intentions to help Griner are admirable, the White House made it clear he wouldn’t be traveling with their blessing.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government,” referring to Rodman. Price makes it clear the current administration, and the federal government at all, didn’t condone Rodman’s trip.
Apparently, some government officials believed Rodman’s meddling in the situation could hamper their government’s negotiation with Russia to bring Griner back. The ex-Bulls star can probably help Griner the most by sitting this one out on the bench.
State Department Believed Dennis Rodman Would Interfere with Bringing Brittney Griner Home
Griner was locked up in February 2022 by Russian authorities. Russian officials discovered cannabis oil in her luggage at the airport. Reportedly, they found less than a gram of hash oil cartridges. Her trial began on July 1st, and she pled guilty to the charges. She received nine years at her sentencing on August 4th. She also paid a fine of $16,500.
Luckily, after reported public messaging primarily through spokesperson Ned Price, the Biden administration and federal government make it clear they do not want Rodman going to Russia.
“We have seen through the media – and really only through the media – that Dennis Rodman has said he does intend to travel to Russia,” Price remarked, via Fox News. “I want to be clear: He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government.”
While talks of a prisoner swap have begun, Price says Rodman’s attempted intervention would definitely bring more harm than good.
“We put forward a substantial proposal to Russia to seek the freedom of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. We believe that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts,” Price explained. “We’ve also provided very clear guidance to American citizens to not travel to Russia. That has been our message to private Americans across the board.”