“Otto Warmbier was murdered by the North Korean regime,” said Marion Smith, director of the rights group.
“The barbarous treatment received by this young American at the hands of his North Korean captors is sadly not a unique act. North Korea’s government has a record of forcing innocent American tourists into decades of hard labor and of beating and torturing them to the point of death.”
Smith accused Rodman of “coddling” Kim, whom the former basketball player has described as a “friend for life.”
“Removing Rodman from the Hall of Fame will send a message that all Americans are united against this regime,” Smith said.
Return from North Korea
The five-time NBA champion has traveled to North Korea for informal “basketball diplomacy” several times, and told CNN last week that he hoped to do “something that’s pretty positive.”
While calls demanding his removal from the Hall of Fame are growing, its unclear whether they’ll have any effect.
Sports Hall of Fame rarely removes members. Former NFL player O.J. Simpson remains in the Pro Football Hall of Fame despite a murder accusation and a conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping.