Dennis Rodman on CNN rant: "I had been drinking"

"I want to apologize," the former basketball star and self-appointed North Korea envoy said in a statement. "I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It's not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It's not an excuse, it's just the truth."

Above, Rodman sings "Happy Birthday" to Supreme Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the Central Military Commission, First Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, and presidium member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea, Kim Jong Un.

Notable Replies

  1. Why can't people learn to not do interviews when they're not at their best? The damage of not doing the interview is nothing compared to the potential damage of actually doing the interview in that state.

  2. Because celebrity. Because drunkenness. Because stress.

  3. Admittedly, most decisions made while drunk should be filed under "bad" or "revisit while sober"- something that would require a level of decision making that would likely preclude needing to make those filings in the first place.

  4. At the very least Rodman had the cojones to admit that he was drunk during the interview, instead of the normal celebrity twitter apology to which we've all become accustomed.
    The whole Rodman-as-diplomat thing is really quite bizarre to me. Other commenters more politically seasoned than myself can clarify the effectiveness of diplomacy through sporting events, but to my knowledge that generally happens between countries that aren't under autocratic rule. Political analysts were for a time speculating that Kim would take the country in a democratic direction but the reading I've done indicates that they've all given up on that theory as pie in the sky. How long does it take to swing an autocratic ship of state towards democracy without revolution or extreme national distress? Rodman might have begun his project with good intentions (good intentions built on shaky premises, to be sure) but there are so many moral and ethical problems connected to dictatorships that one wonders if a non-violent transition is possible at all.

  5. Well, Ping Pong was one of the first examples of a slight thaw in the very hostile relationship between China and the US, followed by Nixon actually visiting China and eventually China making everything for us. It is not necessarily causal, but it can help.

    That said, Rodman is not Nixon nor is he a representative of the US government in any way (though I imagine he had to get permission to engage in some way??).

    At least he just admitted his error and took responsibility. Much better than the classic non-apology apology (I apologize if you were offended).

Continue the discussion

17 more replies