After appearing like he wouldn’t even consider another point of view, let alone apologize, former NBA star Dennis Rodman has done just that, apologize for his comments. Rodman is apologizing for his comments regarding imprisoned U.S. citizen Kenneth Bae were called outrageous by Bae’s sister and received criticism from everyone from the White House to the NBA. He said that he was under a lot of stress and had been drinking when he made those comments on CNN. Some had wondered beforehand if he was drunk; now there seems to be confirmation.
Rodman received criticism when he suggested that Bae had done something bad enough to warrant the extreme measures that are being taking against him by North Korea. Of course, he never said exactly what it was that Bae actually did do.
The former Bulls star released a public apology through his publicist to the Bae family. He also said he wants to apologize to his teammates and the team managing him. He even apologized to Chris Cuomo. Cuomo is the CNN reporter he was speaking with at the time he made his comments. He also said that the reason he spoke out so violently was because he has been under a lot of stress lately. He said that the day he gave that interview had been a “very stressful” one for him.
“I had been drinking,” the 52-year-old former NBA champion said. He said his drinking was not an excuse but added that when the interview began he was upset and felt “overwhelmed.”
He also added that at this point in his career he should have realized not to make political statements like those he did make.
He also gave some inside information regarding the teammates he played with in North Korea at Kim Jong-un’s birthday celebration. He has long been trying to achieve diplomacy through his basketball fame and through the excitement the game generates in other parts of the world. He said that his goal of using basketball as a vehicle for diplomacy was losing steam. His rant on CNN certainly did not help anything.
Rodman added that, “Some of my teammates were leaving [North Korea] because of pressure from their families and business associates.”
Rodman received criticism from Terri Chung, Bae’s sister, who said that, “He was in position to do some good and to help advocate for Kenneth. He refused to do so.” Chung also added that while it was his choice not to help her brother there was no reason for him to allege that her brother had done any serious crimes that were why he was in the position he is in.
Bae is currently being held by North Korea on charges that detail activity that is “anti-state.” His condition is believed to be very serious because his health is deteriorating. During an onscreen interview with a pro-North Korean news team, Bae looked noticeably thinner and said he has diabetes, high blood pressure and a fatty liver. North Korea is believed to have one of the most severe penal prisons in the world and Bae is in a labor camp. He is sentenced to 15 years.
Rodman’s apology will certainly be welcomed stateside, but it is doubtful if it will make any meaningful difference in his public appearance. He is still being criticized for not using his friendship with North Korea’s supreme leader to help the imprisoned U.S. citizens. Rodman’s admittance that he was drunk at the time he made the comments to CNN will not change what he has, or has not, accomplished in North Korea.
By Nick Manai