U.S Officials Say Dennis Rodman Involvement Is Complicating Brittney Griner Prisoner Exchange Discussions
Ned Price, spokesperson of the State Department, claimed that Dennis Rodman’s reported plans to seek Brittney Griner’s release will only “complicate” things when asked for comment by the media. Price also emphasized maintaining the currently established channels between the U.S & Russia, and that Rodman is not traveling on behalf of the United States.
“We believe that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts,” Price Said. The Biden Administration reportedly offered Russian Arms Dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for not only Griner, but also Paul Whelan, who was sentenced to prison for alleged espionage.
Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman stated to NBC on Saturday that he plans to try to help facilitate the release of WNBA’s Brittney Griner. Rodman said he intends on traveling to Russia to seek her release. “I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I’m trying to go this week,” Rodman said. NBC reports that Rodman does not need special permission in order to make the trip Russia, only a visa from Moscow.
Griner has been detained in Russia since February, after vape cartridges containing cannabis oils were found in her luggage at an airport in Moscow. Griner was charged with smuggling drugs into Russia, a felony that carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. Griner pled guilty to narcotics possession and smuggling charges during her drug trial, acknowledging that the cannabis oils were in her luggage. Griner also stated that she had no criminal intent. Russia sentenced Griner to nine years in a Russian penal colony for smuggling drugs into the country. Griner’s attorney Maria Blagovolina reported days later that the ruling has been appealed.
Rodman, who is regarded as one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history, retired from the game of basketball in the year 2000 after playing in the National Basketball Association for fourteen seasons. Rodman played for multiple NBA teams. Teams include Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Rodman built himself a successful career and achieved numerous accolades. Accolades include becoming a 5x NBA Champion, 2x NBA All-Star, 2x All-NBA Third Team, 2x NBA Defensive Player of the Year, x7 NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and becoming a x7 NBA Rebounding Champion.
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