On January 7, the National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) Board of Directors held a conference call to discuss human rights and the upcoming basketball exhibition in North Korea to be led by Dennis Rodman this week.
In a productive session, the NBRPA Board of Directors discussed the basketball exhibition, as well as conditions and policies in place under North Korea’s current leadership regime.
“While we support international goodwill and diplomacy in instances deemed appropriate by our Board of Directors, it is important to clarify that the trip to North Korea led by Dennis Rodman and others was not sanctioned by the NBRPA and is not supported by our organization in any way,” said NBRPA Chairman of the Board Otis Birdsong, a four-time NBA All-Star.
“Under the right circumstances basketball can serve as a bridge to bring communities together, but these are not those circumstances. Standing alongside our partners at the NBA, we do not condone the basketball activities to be conducted in North Korea this week,” he said.
NBRPA has recently organized and conducted several goodwill events for communities in need – both in the United States and abroad.
As part of this initiative, NBRPA Members have recently participated in community service events in Haiti and the Middle East internationally, as well as in American communities such as Sandy Hook, Conn., Moore, Okla. and the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
Directly supported by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), the NBRPA is a non-profit association comprised of former professional basketball players of the NBA, ABA, Harlem Globetrotters, and WNBA.
The NBRPA is a charitable, 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a two-pronged mission to assist its members in their transition from the playing court into life after the game, while also positively impacting communities and youth through basketball.
Dennis Rodman and his team of former NBA players are scheduled to play a basketball game against the national team of North Korea on Jan. 8.
Rodman and his team are scheduled to play on Jan. 8, which is a birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Another game should be played two days later on Jan. 10. Rodman is the highest profile American to meet Kim since the leader inherited power from his father in late 2011.
It should be noted that NBA’s commissioner David Stern is not really thrilled about Rodman’s games in North Korea.
“The NBA is not involved with Mr. Rodman’s North Korea trip and would not participate or support such a venture without the approval of the U.S. State Department,” Stern said.
“Although sports in many instances can be helpful in bridging cultural divides, this is not one of them.”Follow @exnbadotcom
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