I hate when I happen to agree with someone that I don’t like. I agree with Dennis Rodman on his trips to #North Korea. I wish the media would stop putting expectations on him that he can’t possibly fulfill. The man is a basketball player, not a politician. All he knows is basketball and maybe a little about professional wrestling and acting. Nothing else. The media can’t expect an intelligent answer from him on any other subject. The man failed out of Cooke County College in Gainesville, Texas before transferring to the less academically challenging Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Rodman did not play basketball for MIT. Don’t ask hard questions. He said that his trips could “open the door a little bit.” I happen to agree.
Rodman played for Detroit, San Antonio and Chicago. In Detroit, no reporter ever asked him about how to fix Detroit’s economy. In San Antonio no one asked him about Mexican-American relations. In Chicago no one asked him about gun control. Why are reporters asking him about North Korean politics? Maybe the media should get his take on global warming. Rodman is sticking to the subject he knows best - basketball. He is the smart one in these press conferences. If the news media thinks they can get ask a political question of Rodman and get an intelligent answer, then the media is stupid. (Click to tweet)
When I was nine years old, the Army transferred my stepfather to Turkey, and we lived there for two and a half years. (We found out later that he was working for the CIA.) I recall that one time when I was playing football with some neighborhood kids, some Turkish boys asked us to teach them American football (not soccer). They could not speak English and we did not speak Turkish. They said that they would teach us how to wrestle in return. We agreed and we did. I ended up wrestling for ten years. That was American-Turkish relations on a grassroots (or playing field) level.
When I was in Vietnam as a platoon leader, we were operating near a Vietnamese village. The village karate teacher challenged my platoon to a karate match. At the time, I was a brown belt. I also had a few soldiers who knew karate. We had the match with the teacher and me acting as referees. Everyone enjoyed it.
Sports break down cultural barriers and cut through language barriers. I think every military unit deployed overseas should have a basic load of footballs, basketballs soccer balls, baseballs and volley balls. Lord knows it take a lot of balls to be a soldier. Sports can do a great deal for diplomacy. For example, baseball is very popular in Japan and Korea. Volleyball and soccer are popular around the world. Soldiers are there before the Peace Corps shows up.