Rodman claimed earlier this week that he had permission to go to Russia to get Griner and has decided to back out of the rescue mission. Last week, he said he was going to try and bring Griner back to American soil. He said, “I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I’m trying to go this week.“
The Hall of Famer is a well-known celebrity around the world. He is also known to be well connected abroad, especially with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un. The decorated player who won five NBA finals has been to North Korea several times and said he considers Kim Jong-Un, a friend for life.
Rodman presumed he could use his influence and connections to free the incarcerated Griner.
Dennis Rodman won’t be getting involved in the Brittney Griner case after all — the Hall of Famer has reportedly decided not to travel to Russia. https://t.co/UIrzBYg5gC
— TMZ (@TMZ) August 25, 2022
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After giving it some thought, the player has decided not to travel to Russia for Griner, who was sentenced to 9 years in prison earlier this month. This development came after the United States government strongly advised against his plans. He also added that he knew president Vladimir Putin “too well.”
The White House firmly declared that he was on his own if he decided to go. They added that he would not be getting support or blessings from D.C.
During a press briefing where it was announced that Rodman would not be going to Russia, Ned Price, the State Department’s spokesperson, said, “He would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government.“
In addition, Price added that Rodman’s involvement might only make matters more complicated, and they did not want to risk that. The White House strongly believes that Rodman getting involved in the negotiations would mess up the U.S.’s current negotiations with Russia to get Griner out.
Price noted at the briefing, “We believe that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts.“
Price added, “I said last week that we had engaged in discussions with Russian counterparts on this. Those discussions are ongoing. We’ve made very clear, as we have publicly, that we proposed a substantial proposal, we called it, for the release of Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner.“
Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the State Department has warned against traveling to Russia to avoid wrongful detention.
After this stern warning from the White House, the player had no choice but to fall back on his plan and wait for the United States to execute its plan. Though he does not necessarily need the United States’ permission to travel to Moscow, he would need a visa to enter Russia.
Griner has been imprisoned in Russia since February after vape cartridges with cannabis oil were found in her luggage as she traveled in an airport outside of Moscow. She claimed that she did not intend to break the laws and only accidentally brought the cartridges. However, she was found guilty of drug charges and sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison.