NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman says he’s going to Russia to try his hand at securing the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner from detainment.
Rodman mentioned the trip in conversation with NBC News while in Washington D.C. for Sneaker Con, which took place from Aug. 20-21.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” Rodman told the outlet at a local restaurant. “I’m trying to go this week.”
“I know Putin too well,” the 61-year-old five-time NBA champion added.
Rodman’s plans come after a Russian court sentenced Griner to nine years in prison over drug possession charges.
The Hall of Famer has a history of functioning as an informal diplomat according to PEOPLE, including past meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and Russia’s Vladamir Putin.
How the government feels about Rodman’s trip
The Biden Administration is not in support of Rodman getting involved in Griner’s case.
“It’s public information that the administration has made a significant offer to the Russians and anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder release efforts,” an official told NBC News.
Additionally, the state department’s most recently updated travel advisory for Russia recommends that Americans don’t visit the country.
Many reasons were listed, including the “unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine,” “the potential harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials,” and the possibility of “wrongful detention.”
“The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine or emergency services to U.S. citizens in Russia is severely limited,” the advisory noted. “Particularly in areas far from the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, due to Russian government limitations on travel, the number of U.S. staff, and the ongoing suspension of operations, including consular services, at U.S. consulates.”
Read more about Griner’s case below.
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