Two weeks ago, former basketball star Dennis Rodman was rooting for North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un during a bizarre visit to the Hermit Kingdom. This week, he is in Vatican City rooting for a black Pope, he told the Associated Press and CBS News.
The basketball star’s Roman holiday is reportedly being funded by Paddy Power, an Irish gambling company that is running a Pope bracket.
“One of those two black guys is going to be the Pope,” he told the Associated Press, perhaps alluding to early favorites Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson and Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze. “In our society, in the 21st century, it should be no surprise what’s going to happen.”
However, the AP writes, “Rodman didn’t seem too sure who he was supposed to be promoting when asked about it Wednesday. [Ghana’s Turkson is] ‘From Africa right?'”
Sporting a Paddy Power t-shirt and what appears to be a flower power jacket, Rodman had planned to make a dramatic entrance in Rome via a mock “pope mobile,” but the vehicle has been delayed by snow in northern Italy.
While the ex-NBA player told CBS News that he is in the country to “promote” the Irish gambling site, he insists that he is not doing any Pope betting: “I don’t gamble on stuff like that.”
While most of the world is keeping an eye on the Sistine Chapel chimney, someone has to keep an eye on Rodman, right?