SWC: Time For NBA to Denounce Dennis Rodman’s Playing Low for Kim Jong Un’s Propaganda Game

Dec 16, 2013

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO is calling on the NBA to denounce ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman’s return to North Korea next month, reportedly with other ex-NBA players.

“Rodman has the right to earn his living playing the low post for the North Korean dictator’s propaganda campaign, so it is up to Americans concerned about North Korean to speak out and denounce his actions,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean of the Wiesenthal Center and long-time activist for human rights in North Korea.

“Let’s be clear, Rodman’s trips to North Korea are not about bringing nations closer together or striking a blow for world peace. Every visit, every photo-op with Kim Jong Un, every exhibition game only serves to create phony positive images for one of the most unpredictable and dangerous leaders on the planet. It is apparent that nothing, not the North Korean gulag, not the regime’s gassings of political prisoners, not imprisoned Americans, not the public executions of family members, nor the nuclear threats to Asian neighbors, have any impact Rodman.

“We live at a time when professional sports are trying to serve as role models for charitable giving, community-based activities and anti-bullying initiatives. The NBA has always strived to serve as a role model to help the less fortunate and to foster hope among disadvantaged youth. It now has the opportunity and responsibility to signal its solidarity with the long-suffering people of North Korea and to disassociate itself from someone cashing in on former NBA stardom to cavort with its dangerous leader,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

For more information, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).