Petition calls for Dennis Rodman to be removed from Hall of Fame

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 27, 2017

"Former NBA star and Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman has embraced North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as a "friend for life" and asserted "I love him" as he defended his human rights record", the petition says.

The group Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation began a petition on change.org to have Rodman expelled from the basketball shrine, CNN reported.

The former National Basketball Association player's latest visit coincided with the secretive nation's release of American tourist Otto Warmbier, who was returned to the US after nearly a year and a half in captivity. Warmbier arrived in the United States in a coma last week and died Monday.

"Otto Warmbier was murdered by the North Korean regime", Marion Smith, director of the human rights group, told CNN. Officials in Washington and Pyongyang said Rodman's visit had nothing to do with Warmbier going home. During his multiple visits to North Korea, which Rodman has described as "basketball diplomacy" trips, he's maintained both that he and Kim Jong-un are friends and that he hopes to create positivity with his visits.

"The barbarous treatment received by this young American at the hands of his North Korean captors is sadly not a unique act". They are asking Rodman to condemn the North Korean leader or face the consequences.

It's unclear if the hall will do anything regarding Rodman, who was inducted in 2011. "As a professional athlete and an NBA Hall of Fame member, Rodman is called to be a role model and set an example for the next generation", the petition reads. Simpson remains in the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite a high-profile murder trial and a conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping.

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