Jesse Jackson wants Rodman reinstated

Associated Press
CHICAGO -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson, after counseling Dennis Rodman, wants the NBA to immediately reinstate the misbehaving Chicago Bulls forward.

Jackson planned to meet with commissioner David Stern on Wednesday in New York to plead the case for Rodman, who was suspended at least 11 games for kicking a courtside cameraman Jan. 15.

"Like everybody else, I don't condone Dennis' action," Jackson told the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday. "I want to convey to the commissioner my sentiment and the sentiments of a growing number of people that Dennis has already been punished enough for the very act in question."

The Bulls' 111-96 victory Tuesday night at Vancouver was the sixth game of the suspension, which will cost Rodman more than $1.1 million in lost salary and incentives. He also was fined $25,000 by the league, and he has agreed to pay a $200,000 out-of-court settlement to Minneapolis cameraman Eugene Amos.

Stern has insisted that before Rodman is reinstated, he must undergo psychiatric counseling and assure the league that he will adhere to acceptable standards of behavior.

"It's one thing to punish a man. It's another thing to take away his dignity," Jackson said.

Jackson and Rodman met Monday in Los Angeles after the forward's agent, Dwight Manley, contacted the former presidential candidate.

"I dig what the brother does, and he appreciates what I bring to the table," Rodman said. "He is one of the few public figures that I truly admire because I think he is really sincere."

Rodman came off as unrepentant last week during an interview on ABC-TV's "PrimeTime Live," prompting even President Clinton to say he thought the Bulls player should admit what he did was wrong.

Jackson said Rodman is basically a good person with a bad temper.

"But we had prayer. I gave him my ideas and advice on the matter, and I intend to continue counseling him as long as he wants me to, and I feel I can help," Jackson said.

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