Former NBA star Dennis Rodman was in North Korea to celebrate Kim Jong Un’s birthday this week. Rodman sung the country’s leader a wonky rendition of happy birthday at a packed sports stadium prior to facing-off in a basketball game with former NBA players against a team of North Koreans.
Many Americans are infuriated with Rodman’s dealings with North Korea and they are outraged at the comments he made about the sister of a Washington man imprisoned in North Korea. She says she’s worried that Dennis Rodman is hurting efforts to free her brother.
In an exclusive interview Tuesday with Chris Cuomo of CNN’s “New Day,” Rodman provoked outrage by suggesting that Kenneth Bae (who has been held in North Korea since 2012) may deserve his sentence of 15 years of hard labor as a result of something he did. Bae, 45, was arrested in November 2012 while leading a tour group. He was accused of crimes against the state. Bae was moved to a hospital last summer in poor health.
Rodman apologized Thursday for his much-criticized outburst about the American citizen and he said he was stressed out and drunk when he made the remarks on CNN.
“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family,” Rodman, 52, said Thursday in a statement released by his publicist Jules Feiler. “I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo.”