Sharper Point: Is Dennis Rodman a deep-cover diplomat in a dress?
Maybe it’s not the weirdest thing ever, but there’s probably a very short list of stranger things that have happened in history other than Dennis Rodman playing a part in U.S. diplomatic policy.
Rodman, the former NBA star known for his tattoos and piercings as much as his rebounding prowess, will reportedly not only attend the United States-North Korea summit in Singapore next week, he may actually be sitting at the negotiating table with President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un.
Before you scoff, it’s the very sober Washington Post that’s reporting that the sometimes-sober Rodman may have a seat at the table — uh, blue-painted fingernails and all.
But what’s really weird is that a world where Rodman has a seat at the table — where a denuclearized Korean Peninsula becomes a reality — kind of makes sense.
Rodman may be the only person on the planet who has spent a significant amount of time with both Kim (during several visits to North Korea) and Trump (whose “Celebrity Apprentice” reality show featured Rodman twice as a contestant).
But that’s not all: Rodman says he might’ve helped create conditions that even made a summit possible. During one of his “basketball diplomacy” visits to North Korea, Rodman gave Kim some of Trump’s books.
And although the former Madonna boytoy — known for enjoying the freedom of wearing a dress from time-to-time — feels this fostered greater understanding, “I don’t want to take all the credit,” he recently told TMZ. “My intention was to try to go over there to be a sports ambassador to North Korea so that people understand how the people are in North Korea.”
Unfortunately, “how the people are in North Korea” is generally downtrodden and skinny from malnutrition. Except for the Communist Party elite like Kim (who appears to have not missed many meals), there’s a good chance you don’t know how your family is getting fed.
A good portion of North Korea’s citizens are locked up in prison camps so awful that an Auschwitz survivor who helped produce a report on North Korean prisons once said that North Korea’s camps “are as terrible, or even worse” than the Nazi camps he was locked up in as a child.
Still other North Koreans are sent to China to work — but their wages are sent back to support Kim’s regime. They are essentially exported slave labor.
One of the reasons I haven’t giggled too much at Rodman’s visits to see his North Korean “friend” is because his buddy Kim is a murderous, coldhearted dictator.
But, then again, maybe Rodman will have the last laugh.
The NBA Hall of Famer might also belong in the Diplomatic Hall of Fame (which I don’t think actually exists). Because Rodman’s bad-boy, not-too-smart jock image may have just fooled us all — and he played Kim better than he ever played defense for the Bulls.
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