Dennis Rodman February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Dennis Rodman is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After facing criticism and backlash over an announcement that he would travel to Russia to help in the negotiations to return Brittney Griner to America, former NBA star Dennis Rodman has announced that he will stay out of the sensitive situation.

Over the weekend, the former Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons player told NBC News that he “got permission to go to Russia to help that girl,” referring to WBNA star Griner, who was recently found guilty on drug charges in Russia, adding that “I’m trying to go this week.”

Monday, an official representing President Joe Biden’s administration released a statement saying that the White House is already working to secure Griner’s release and does not want Rodman to muddy the waters or complicate issues as the U.S. negotiate a prisoner swap that involves Griner and another U.S. citizen.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price told ABC News that if Rodman did go to Russia “he would not be traveling on behalf of the U.S. government,” adding that “we believe that anything other than negotiating further through the established channel is likely to complicate and hinder those release efforts.”

On Tuesday, ABC News reported that after the White House discouraged Rodman from traveling to Russia, he “clarified” that a trip “isn’t in the works.”

Technically, Rodman would be able to travel without permission from the United States, but he would still need a visa from Russia to enter their country. The State Department is currently discouraging American citizens from traveling to Russia and has issued a “Level 4-Do Not Travel” advisory.

[ABC News]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to