Former NBA player Dennis Rodman has apologized for a bizarre interview during which he screamed at CNN’s Chris Cuomo, slurred his words throughout and made the suggestion that American citizen Kenneth Bae is rightfully being held in a concentration camp on vague charges that he intended to topple the North Korean government, reports The Seattle Times.
Rodman is currently in North Korea with other former NBA players to play a game against a local team to celebrate the birthday of his friend, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
“I want to apologize,” Rodman said. “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.
“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family. I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo. I embarrassed a lot of people. I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”
Bae’s family was upset about Rodman’s drunken accusations and voiced their outrage to CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“He was in a position to do some good and to help advocate for Kenneth,” said Bae’s sister Terri Chung. “He refused to do so. But then instead he has chosen to hurl these outrageous accusations against Kenneth. He clearly doesn’t know anything about Kenneth, about his case. And so we were appalled by that.”
Read more about and his family’s reaction’s to Rodman’s statements at CNN.
See Rodman’s CNN interview below:
The National Basketball Retired Players Association denounced the game.
“While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate by our board of directors, it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA and is not supported by our organization in any way,” said NBRPA chairman of the board Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star. “Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances. Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not condone the basketball activities to be conducted in North Korea this week.”