Dennis Rodman said Saturday he “got permission” to go to Russia to seek the release of WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in prison on drug charges.
The Basketball Hall of Famer, who was at a sneaker convention in Washington over the weekend, told NBC News he was looking to head over to Moscow at some point this week.
“I got permission to go to Russia to help that girl. I’m trying to go this week,” he told the outlet, adding he knew Russian President Vladimir Putin “too well.”
The State Department has issued a travel advisory for Americans, warning them not to travel to Russia.
“Do not travel to Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, COVID-19-related restrictions, and terrorism,” the warning reads. “U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Russia should depart Russia immediately. Exercise increased caution due to wrongful detentions.”
Griner is still classified as being “wrongfully detained.”
Griner’s lawyers in Russia appealed her conviction. She was arrested for bringing vape cartridges containing oils derived from cannabis through a Moscow airport in February. She was convicted and received her sentence on Aug. 4.
Rodman has a history of interacting with world leaders. He met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in 2013 and was among the first Americans to meet him.