The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Board of Directors has denounced the North Korea basketball exhibition led by Dennis Rodman and featuring a team of former NBA stars.
In a news release Tuesday, the NBRPA cited North Korea's poor human rights policies and conditions, and made it clear that the organization did not sanction or support the exhibition.
Rodman announced this week plans to take a team of former NBA players -- including Kenny Anderson, Vin Baker, Clifford Robinson, Charles Smith, Doug Christie, Craig Hodges, and Sleepy Floyd -- to Pyongyang to play an exhibition game against the North Korean national team to celebrate the birthday of North Korean “supreme leader” Kim Jong-un.
Rodman and his team arrived in Pyongyang on Monday and are scheduled to play the exhibition on Wednesday.
The former Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls star angrily defended the exhibition and his friendship with the North Korean dictator on CNN Tuesday.
“It’s a great idea for the world,” Rodman said in an interview with CNN, later adding that the trip could help “open the door a little bit” to the world.
“While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate by our Board of Directors, it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA and is not supported by our organization in any way,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star. “Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances. Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not condone the basketball activities to be conducted in North Korea this week.”