Dennis Rodman Is Going to Russia to Free Brittney Griner

Dennis Rodman Is Going to Russia to Free Brittney Griner

by Justine Fisher

From basketball legend to accidental Peace Ambassador, Dennis Rodman can do it all. This time, he’s going to advocate for the release of Brittney Griner.

Griner, who was arrested in Russia on drug charges for transporting vape juice that contained hash oil, has been held there since February. On August 4, Griner was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. Like many other WNBA stars, Griner made regular visits to Russia to play during the sport’s off-season for extra income.

The story touched Rodman, and he told NBC News that he has received permission to go to Russia in an attempt to seek her release. "I'm trying to go this week," Rodman told NBC. It is unclear who gave Rodman “permission.” What is clear is the Biden administration’s hesitance for the former NBA player to make a peace deal.

“It’s public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts,” the official said.

Countless politicians have called for Griner’s release. President Joe Biden called her sentencing “unacceptable” and asked Russian officials “to release her immediately so she can be with her wife, loved ones, friends, and teammates.” Because of the verdict, the U.S. can now pursue a prisoner swap and has offered to trade Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, who has served 10 of his 25-year sentence thus far.

This isn’t the first time Rodman has attempted to foster peaceful relations between the U.S. and another country. He’s been noted to have cultivated an unlikely friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. After tweeting for the release of American prisoner Kenneth Bae in 2013, Kim released him the following year. Bae credits Rodman for his release.

Photo via Tim Nwachukwu/Getty