The Washington Post

Dennis Rodman says “I had been drinking” in apology for comments

Dennis Rodman serenaded Kim Jong Un. (Kim Kwang Hyon / AP)

Dennis Rodman apologized for an obscenity-filled meltdown earlier this week, saying, “I had been drinking” when he was interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo during his visit to North Korea.

Rodman issued the apology through his publicist in an email to the Associated Press, a day after he sang “Happy Birthday” to the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un before leading an increasingly reluctant band of former NBA players in an exhibition game. In the interview with Cuomo, he seemed to imply that Kenneth Bae, the Korean-American missionary who has been held in North Korea for over a year, is to blame for his captivity.

“I want to apologize. I take full responsibility for my actions. It had been a very stressful day. Some of my teammates were leaving because of pressure from their families and business associates. My dreams of basketball diplomacy was quickly falling apart. I had been drinking. It’s not an excuse but by the time the interview happened I was upset. I was overwhelmed. It’s not an excuse, it’s just the truth.

“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family. I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo. I embarrassed a lot of people. I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”

Bae’s sister, Terri Chung, told KOMO Radio that “it’s clear he has no idea what he’s talking about. I’m not sure who he’s talking to, where he’s getting his information, but he’s certainly no authority on Kenneth Bae.” Rodman, who was making his fourth trip to North Korea, also said of Kim: “I love him. He’s my friend” and, by gameday in Pyongyang Indoor Stadium, Rodman found serenading the leader by himself. Everyone from White House spokesman Jay Carney to NBA Commissioner David Stern to former player Charles Smith, who was on the trip with Rodman, wanted no part of what he was saying.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.



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Cindy Boren · January 8, 2014