Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for a bizarre interview with CNN that clouded his “basketball diplomacy” trip to North Korea, attributing the outburst to stress and alcohol.
Appearing via satellite Tuesday on CNN’s “New Day,” Rodman grew hostile towards co-anchor Chris Cuomo when questioned about Kenneth Bae, an American missionary held captive in North Korea for reasons unknown. The basketball legend implied that Bae was at fault, a comment that drew condemnation from even the White House.
“I want to first apologize to Kenneth Bae’s family,” Rodman said in a statement, as quoted by CNN. “I want to apologize to my teammates and my management team. I also want to apologize to Chris Cuomo.”
Rodman said the day of the interview had been “stressful” and he had been drinking, according to CNN. He also suggested his “basketball diplomacy” mission was crumbling as the American players he recruited for the trip came under pressure from family members and business associates.
“I embarrassed a lot of people,” he added. “I’m very sorry. At this point I should know better than to make political statements. I’m truly sorry.”
The rant about Bae isn’t the only political statement Rodman’s made this week. He sang a tone-deaf verse from “Happy Birthday” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday and bowed to the dictator, before kicking off a basketball game with North Korean players and former NBA All-Stars.
Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at email@example.com.