Temper, temper! Flamboyant basketball star Dennis Rodman lost his Tuesday when someone dared question his controversial visits to North Korea.
In an interview with Chris Cuomo on CNN, Rodman angrily defended his so-called humanitarian mission to the secretive and dictatorial nation, which has recently been in the news for troubling events, such as leader Kim Jong Un’s brutal execution of his own uncle and the kidnapping and imprisonment of U.S. veteran Kenneth Bae.
Rodman arrived for what is at least his second trip to North Korea with a contingent of about 50 U.S. citizens, including a basketball team who will play for Kim as part of his birthday celebrations. When Cuomo questioned Rodman about whether or not this was a good idea, the baller lost his mind.
“Kenneth Bae did one thing… If you understand what Kenneth Bae did. Do you understand what he did in this country? No, no, no, you tell me, you tell me. Why is he held captive here in this country, why?… I would love to speak on this,” he ranted.
“You know, you’ve got 10 guys here, 10 guys here, they’ve left their families, they’ve left their d*** families, to help this country, as in a sports venture. That’s 10 guys, all these guys here, do anyone understand that? Christmas, New Year’s… I don’t give a rat’s a** what the hell you think. I’m saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them… they dared to do one thing, they came here.”
“Really? Really?” he continued while he teammates looked on, becoming more and more visibly uncomfortable. “I want to tell you one thing. People ’round the world, around the world, I wanna do one thing. You’re the guy behind the mic right now. We’re the guys here doing one thing. We have to go back to America and take the abuse. Do you have to take the abuse that we’re gonna take? Do you sir, are you going to take the abuse?”
“One day, one day, this door is going to open because these 10 guys here, all of us, Christie, Vin, Dennis, Charles… I mean everybody here, if we could open the door just a little bit for people to come here and do one thing.”
Watch Dennis Rodman lose it over North Korea questions
Fellow player Charles D. Smith tried to play peacemaker, defending Rodman’s angry stance. “We’ve been doing these games for 3½ years,” he said, explaining that the games are part of a “cultural exchange” designed to “put smiles on people’s faces” rather than influence politics. “Outside of what people know of Dennis, you don’t know Dennis. He’s got a great heart, his passion is about children and families, that’s why we are here.”
“We are here because it’s about doing great will around the world.”