Dennis Rodman during a ceremony retiring his jersey during an NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Bulls at The Palace.

Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Rodman's Latest North Korea Trip Triggers Calls for Hall of Fame Ousting

Rights group starts a petition calling on the NBA to respond

Kyle McCann
June 22, 2017 - 12:04 pm

NBA Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman has never been afraid to ruffle a few feathers, but his latest exploits could get him kicked out of Springfield. 

The self-dubbed "goodwill ambassador" to North Korea's latest visit has not gone over well back in the states. The human rights group Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is calling on the NBA to remove the 5-time champion from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The group created a petition on change.org to remove Rodman following the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was held in North Korea for 17 months. Rodman arrived in Pyongyang the same day that Warmbier had been released. However, he arrived in the U.S. in a coma and died soon after. The group's director has accused North Korea of murdering Warmbier.  

Despite Rodman's eccentric nature, he is regarded as one of the game's greatest rebounders, leading the league seven times in his 14-year career. 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.

It's worth noting that sports hall of fames very rarely remove players. Despite serving time in prison after his playing career, Orlando Cepeda remains in the Baseball Hall of Fame and ex-NFL star O.J. 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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