Dennis Rodman says he's going to Russia to try and get Brittney Griner released

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By Phoebe Egoroff

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Dennis Rodman has announced his plans to go to Russia in an effort to get Brittney Griner freed.

Speaking to NBC News at a restaurant late last week, he revealed he'd been given permission to go to Russia "to help that girl," and would try to go in the coming week.

The news comes in the wake of Griner's arrest and subsequent detainment in Russia after customs officials discovered hashish oil in her luggage.

The professional basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist was then sentenced to nine years in prison in the country as its invasion of Ukraine continues.

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Dennis Rodman, 61, has announced that he plans to go to Russia this week to try and secure Brittney Griner's release. Credit: Sipa USA / Alamy

Griner's detainment was highly publicized over the past few months, with President Joe Biden even offering Russia a prisoner exchange in order to secure her release. Those talks are still believed to be ongoing as the basketball star begins the process of appealing her sentence, per the Guardian.

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Griner is in the process of appealing her nine-year sentence. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The Biden administration has expressed concern that Rodman, who actually needs no permission to travel to Russia (only a visa), will likely create more issues rather than fix them.

"It's public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts," a spokesperson for the Biden administration stated.

Rodman has a history of taking diplomacy matters into his own hands, famously striking up a controversial friendship with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, AP reports.

The 61-year-old former Chicago Bulls player has even visited the totalitarian East Asian nation at least four times, giving Jong-un a series of unusual gifts including a Where's Waldo? book.

Per Time, Rodman actually credited himself with the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary who was accused of attempting to overthrow the North Korean government.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, US nationals have been issued a travel advisory by the State Department, strongly discouraging travel to Russia.

"Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of US citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, Covid-19-related restrictions, and terrorism," the travel advisory read.

Despite this travel advisory and multiple sanctions the US has imposed against Russia, Rodman actually needs no "permission" to travel there.

Regardless, it seems that the NBA Hall of Famer has no qualms about going to Russia, given that he has said previously: "I know Putin too well."

Featured image credit: Sipa USA / Alamy

Dennis Rodman says he's going to Russia to try and get Brittney Griner released

vt-author-image

By Phoebe Egoroff

Article saved!Article saved!

Dennis Rodman has announced his plans to go to Russia in an effort to get Brittney Griner freed.

Speaking to NBC News at a restaurant late last week, he revealed he'd been given permission to go to Russia "to help that girl," and would try to go in the coming week.

The news comes in the wake of Griner's arrest and subsequent detainment in Russia after customs officials discovered hashish oil in her luggage.

The professional basketball star and two-time Olympic gold medalist was then sentenced to nine years in prison in the country as its invasion of Ukraine continues.

wp-image-1263166119 size-full
Dennis Rodman, 61, has announced that he plans to go to Russia this week to try and secure Brittney Griner's release. Credit: Sipa USA / Alamy

Griner's detainment was highly publicized over the past few months, with President Joe Biden even offering Russia a prisoner exchange in order to secure her release. Those talks are still believed to be ongoing as the basketball star begins the process of appealing her sentence, per the Guardian.

wp-image-1263166130 size-full
Griner is in the process of appealing her nine-year sentence. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy

The Biden administration has expressed concern that Rodman, who actually needs no permission to travel to Russia (only a visa), will likely create more issues rather than fix them.

"It's public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts," a spokesperson for the Biden administration stated.

Rodman has a history of taking diplomacy matters into his own hands, famously striking up a controversial friendship with North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, AP reports.

The 61-year-old former Chicago Bulls player has even visited the totalitarian East Asian nation at least four times, giving Jong-un a series of unusual gifts including a Where's Waldo? book.

Per Time, Rodman actually credited himself with the release of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary who was accused of attempting to overthrow the North Korean government.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, US nationals have been issued a travel advisory by the State Department, strongly discouraging travel to Russia.

"Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of US citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, Covid-19-related restrictions, and terrorism," the travel advisory read.

Despite this travel advisory and multiple sanctions the US has imposed against Russia, Rodman actually needs no "permission" to travel there.

Regardless, it seems that the NBA Hall of Famer has no qualms about going to Russia, given that he has said previously: "I know Putin too well."

Featured image credit: Sipa USA / Alamy