By: April Carson
Dennis Rodman, retired NBA player, stated he is flying to Russia with the intention of freeing WNBA athlete Brittney Griner from jail. Recently, she was given a nine year prison sentence in Russia for holding cannabis oil cartridges.
"It ain't about me. It's about somebody else that's in a very, very bad situation," Rodman said in an interview. "I'm just trying to do something from my heart that can help out someone." Griner's family has thanked Rodman for his efforts.
While it is unclear what exactly Rodman plans to do when he arrives in Russia, he says he is working with the U.S. State Department to try and secure Griner's release.
Rodman, who has in the past tried to insert himself into US-North Korea diplomacy, told NBC News on Saturday that he had secured permission to travel to Russia and is “trying to go this week.” The U.S. State Department issued a do not travel advisory for Russia, which also warned Americans in the country to leave immediately.
The State Department has not yet responded to The Hill's request for comment on Rodman's plans. Griner and US Marine Paul Whelan are being negotiated for release by the Biden administration, which reportedly offered a trade Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout.
Rodman, a hall-of-famer who spent time with the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan during his career, has previously visited Russia and once referred to Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "great guy."
In 2014, Rodman claimed responsibility for the release of Kenneth Bae from North Korea, a country he had visited several times despite heightened tensions with the United States. Rodman has referred to Kim Jong Un as a “friend” in the past.
It’s unclear what, if any, relationship Rodman has with Griner or how he could help secure her release.
O'Neal said Sunday during an interview with NBC News that he "knows Putin well" and is certain he would be able to negotiate with him.
Griner was detained by the Russians in February, when tensions between the Russian government and the United States were at an all-time high. The US has confirmed Griner's unlawful imprisonment.
Griner pled guilty to transporting cannabis oil cartridges, but she claims she put them in her luggage by mistake and had no criminal intent. Griner has appealed the nine-year sentence a judge handed down this month.
"I'm going to try and get the big guy to let her out," Rodman told "TMZ Sports." "I'm pretty sure he'll do it. If anyone can do it, I can do it."
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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