Seems like Dennis Rodman is doing what Dennis Rodman does so well: causing controversy. His recent rant at Chris Cuomo during a CNN interview after Cuomo asked him about Kenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen who has been imprisoned in North Korea for alleged “hostile acts” against the state of North Korea, has gotten him into trouble again. Rodman and some other basketball players traveled to North Korea to play basketball in an effort to create some goodwill between our two countries. Chris Cuomo was just asking what seemed to be a simple question about whether or not Rodman and his teammates would address Bae and his imprisonment.
It’s hard to say why Rodman got as upset as he did in the interview. Cuomo wasn’t being belligerent or antagonistic, he was simply asking a question. Of course, anyone who remembers Rodman from his time in the NBA and his pursuit of the media knows that his mouth and antics often got him into hot water. Maybe he was just missing the attention and decided to go off on Cuomo.
Despite the supposed goodwill intentions of Rodman and his teammates, I am not sure how basketball is going to create some miraculous transformation in North Korea. Kim Jong-Un, the dictator leader of North Korea made headlines for having his uncle executed and has been in the press lately as the world considers whether or not North Korea has nuclear weapons. Maybe Rodman’s thinking about the old adage of “killing him with kindness” but I highly doubt that.
Never one to shy away from controversy, attention, or shoving his foot further in his mouth, Rodman was also found singing “Happy Birthday” to Kim Jong-Un. To label this behavior inappropriate may be a gross understatement.
There are so many levels and layers to this thing. Why is Rodman and his group really there? Is a goodwill mission feasible? Why did he get so upset with Cuomo for an honest question? Why did he serenade this evil dictator? The list could go on and on. Watching the video of Rodman’s rant was reminiscent of watching interviews in the past of train wrecks like Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and others who had made a habit (and profession) of being so good at being so bad. Rodman fits pretty well into this category.
Through Rodman’s mumblings, it seemed as if he was saying that Bae deserved to be imprisoned in North Korea. Reading through the story, it doesn’t seem that any hard evidence has been offered against Bae that would suggest his imprisonment. It seems that it may be nothing less than another desperate act in the life of a childish dictator, and effort to show the world that he has power and control. So, why would Rodman sing “Happy Birthday” to such an individual?
I’ve learned a lesson over the years about my mouth: it can get me into lots of trouble. Not sure if Rodman has actually grasped this concept or not. Once we say something, regardless of how we might carry on, it can’t be retracted. I always found it equally amusing and horrifying in courts of law when something was struck from the record that had been said by someone on the stand, especially in jury trials where statements stricken from the record could not as easily be stricken from the minds and memories of those who had heard it spoken in person.
It’s an important lesson for me to remember, that words are important. I have to do my best to understand things before I jump right in. I have to make sure that I don’t get into something before I have the full story. That’s not to say Rodman did that, but his unreasonable reaction to Cuomo certainly felt like something was off.
At the end of the day, we will all have our “haters.” Rodman is no stranger to that, but the question is, can we do something to eliminate some of those haters? Rodman needs not speak on things of which he knows little to nothing about, when we branch too far out of our area of expertise, we are in danger of getting into the same hot water Rodman has found himself in.
Rodman as an ambassador for the United States to a country that is hostile towards us just seems like a recipe for disaster. What would the alternative be though? Of course, knowing Rodman’s past and his tendency to go extreme and draw attention to himself, could this all have just been one big act and effort to get himself into the press after a long hiatus?