Dennis Rodman’s recent visit to North Korea has been criticized by media and citizens. Rodman may not know the magnitude of claiming to be friends with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Rodman may not fully comprehend the oppressive rule and the hardships of the North Korean people. Rodman’s positive view of Kim Jong Un has likely caused him to sound foolish to many Americans. Rodman may not be the ideal ambassador, but there may be some good to come out of his story.
The idea that basketball could be a common link between the United States and North Korea could make Rodman’s visit seem less crazy. When Rodman claims that basketball can be a starting point for communication and eventual diplomacy between President Obama and Kim Jong Un, he may be correct. A commonality among people of each country, such as sports or entertainment, may be enough to begin diplomacy with countries that are considered a threat if few common links exist. For example, Iranian and U.S. wrestlers displayed unity when showing support for wrestling in the Olympics. As odd as Rodman’s antics and claims may be, he may be on to something bigger than himself or basketball.
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