Can the Unlikely Dennis Rodman Actually Help Trump and Kim Jong-un Get Along?
Former basketball star is 'friendly' with both the president and the North Korean dictator; now he'll be in Singapore, say reports
Who would have thought one of the zaniest NBA players in recent memory might have a role, no matter how small, when it comes to an historic meeting between leaders of the United States and North Korea?
Not many — but now Dennis Rodman, a five-time NBA champion, is actually slated to be in Singapore next week, at the same time that the U.S.-North Korea summit will occur, according to the New York Post.
Why would an NBA player who dyes his hair all the colors of the rainbow, crossdresses, and has several face piercings even be mentioned in any discussion of meetings between the U.S. and North Korea, or even be — potentially, of course — in the same room with top political leaders, for that matter?
Oddly, he’s one of the very few people on Earth who is friendly with both President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Rodman has gained notoriety since his basketball career for his meetings with the North Korean leader. The two met a handful of times over the past six years in North Korea, and Rodman has said Kim is a big basketball fan and a friend.
During his fifth visit to Pyongyang, which occurred last summer, Rodman also gave Kim a copy of Donald Trump’s “The Art of the Deal,” according to The Washington Post.
As for Rodman’s friendship with Trump, the former NBA star appeared on two seasons of “The Apprentice” (seasons 8 and 13). Unfortunately for Rodman, he was fired after he misspelled Melania Trump’s name — but Rodman and Trump have been on good terms since.
Rodman even endorsed Trump very early on for the presidency, tweeting his support for the now-chief executive in July of 2015.
@realDonaldTrump has been a great friend for many years. We don't need another politician, we need a businessman like Mr. Trump! Trump 2016
— Dennis Rodman (@dennisrodman) July 24, 2015
Although Rodman seems outlandish and peculiar, he certainly seems to know a few things about both the political leaders — and that insight could be helpful.
Rodman is also not a loudmouthed celebrity who goes out of his way to attack the president on a regular basis, as so many others do.
Much remains to be seen here, but other professional athletes and former athletes can take a page from this developing story: To create positive change in the world, work with the president of our country — not against him. Help if you can. Focus on solutions, not dissension. Help bridge gaps, not create them.
Tom Joyce is a freelance writer from the South Shore of Massachusetts. He covers sports, pop culture, and politics and has contributed to The Federalist, Newsday, ESPN, and other outlets.