The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Rodman’s ‘basketball diplomacy’ trivializes rocky relations

By Erin Ratigan/tr news editor

Dennis Rodman is not our ambassador to North Korea. So why does he seem to think he is?

The Associated Press reported that Rodman was in Pyongyang Jan. 8 to take part in a basketball game in honor of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. While there, Rodman went the Marilyn Monroe route and performed a throaty rendition of “Happy Birthday” to the dictator.

That’s something I don’t think I could do for a man who has ordered the execution of his own relatives.

After that, Rodman delivered an address to spectators, calling Kim a good leader that has provided for his people.

I can only hope that statement was intended to be polite and is not an honest opinion. Totalitarian governments are not generally considered good providers, and if any nation were to exemplify this, North Korea would be it.

It doesn’t help that this nonsense occurred while Kenneth Bae (an American) is being held prisoner in North Korea on suspicion of attempting to overthrow the government.

Driving a final nail into the coffin of good taste, Rodman briefly touched on Bae’s detention during an appearance on CNN, insinuating that Bae must have done something to deserve his detention. Naturally, his comments greatly upset Bae’s family, prompting Rodman to apologize in an email to the AP.

This was his latest move in what has been called Rodman’s “basketball diplomacy.” Though he hasn’t called himself an ambassador, Rodman has said that he wishes to bridge the gap between the United States and North Korea through sport and discussion.

Frankly, if 60 years of attempted negotiations haven’t bridged that gap, I highly doubt these publicity stunts will.

To have Rodman representing us on a global scale is preposterous.

Not only are his antics making things more complicated, he is trivializing the severity of the situation by suggesting that he can smooth things over with a little competitive sport.

Things are tense enough. I don’t think we need to add competition into the mix.

Rodman and Kim’s relationship is one that I’m not comfortable with. Our attempts at diplomacy have so far been unsuccessful, but that sort of thing should still be left up to government officials and not random celebrities desperate for attention.

Perhaps I am taking this too seriously, but I don’t trust Dennis Rodman on matters of foreign policy any more than I’d trust Lady GaGa to chair the Federal Reserve.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian