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Jalen Rose responds, says Duke comments taken out of context

Mar 21, 2011, 12:07 PM EDT

17th Annual ESPY Awards - Red Carpet Getty Images

When Jalen Rose was 17 and making one of the biggest decisions of his life — where to attend college — the inner city Detroit kid didn’t want to go to Duke because he didn’t see that as a place he fit in.

In ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary on Rose and Michigan’s Fab Five, Rose was brutally honest about what he was thinking when he was recruited in 1990, saying he thought Duke only recruited players that were “Uncle Toms” and not guys like him.

But Grant Hill and others from Duke took offense, questioning how one should define both Duke and the black experience.

Today in the Wall Street Journal, Rose responded to his critics, saying everything was taken out of context, that who he was at 17 and who he is as an adult are different people.

Addressing the elephant in the room, comments from the documentary regarding Duke University were completely taken out of context. I respect the success of Duke’s program and stated this was my opinion as a teenager growing up in the inner city of Detroit. I also acknowledged that Grant Hill had something I wanted growing up – a successful family. It’s a bit disappointing some people insinuated I think black people from successful families are Uncle Toms. What made the documentary must-see TV is the fact we showed brutal honesty and addressed every topic head on and without reservation.

At the end of the day, some people will have their own opinions about the Fab Five and who we are as people. I am proud of what we achieved together from 1991-1993 and even more proud of the men we have become and how we all work in the community. For example, this past Friday, I had a groundbreaking ceremony with Dave Bing, the mayor of Detroit, for the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, my college prep charter school for inner city youth. I am proud to be one of the few athletes to open my own school. Legacies are defined by how people remember you when you are long gone. The Fab Five and the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy are two things I will now leave behind as my legacy.

  1. dysraw1 - Mar 21, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    i knew it all along

  2. tom-a-hawk - Mar 21, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    There is a lot of “back and forth” between both parties. Can someone just take a time-out? oh, wait, Michigan probably doesn’t have one.

    relax folks…it’s just a joke. probably a bad one, but i laughed a little inside.

    • dexterismyhero - Mar 21, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      bada bing….good one…laughed also…BTW: Those guys never won a thing…..Not even a Big 10 Championship….Then took illegal cash and had all the games taken away….They should all just go away……..

  3. stinkfingers - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Keep on back tracking, idiot. You can’t unring that bell.

  4. ezwriter69 - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    And he STILL refuses to say that he doesn’t feel that way today, because that would be a lie… he DOESN’T deny that he still thinks that, no matter how many times he has the chance.
    Fraud, still a blatant fraud.

    • eazye76 - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:30 PM

      I’m not sure how he was taken out of context in a documentary about his time at Michigan, that included a segment about him playing Duke when Grant Hill played for them.
      If he were to say, “Yeah, I thought Hill was a bitch, but I was young. I respect Grant and the Duke program”, that would put an end to it. The fact that he didn’t say anything like that means he probably still feels that way.
      Honestly, I’m not the least bit surprised at this, anyone involved with that ESPN, First and 10 crap always wants to make everything into a racial issue.

  5. thatdude2309 - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:20 PM

    From Hill to Rose ( kiss my championship rings Bit** )

  6. thatdude2309 - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    All that Hill has to say to Rose is ( kiss my championship rings Bit** ) The fab 5 never won anything

  7. massivedick - Mar 21, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    i just don’t know what all the hype is about. i took rose and jackson’s statements on the documentary as how they all felt back then and not now. media and hypersensitive superstars blowing this way out of proportion.

  8. thetooloftools - Mar 21, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    Shut the hell up Jalen.
    You still feel this way now.
    You could not handle Duke.
    Because they are STRAIGHT UP.
    You did everything but admit The Fab 5 eff up and did anything wrong.
    The thing is that Michigan didn’t get the “death penalty” like in football.
    How does that work?
    You all were in on it.
    You couldn’t have handled basic math there.
    I don’t even like Duke.
    But you are a craphole.
    But they are dynamic and WOW.
    You are who?
    Rose thinks he’s all that.
    Think again.
    Ex – Player PLEASE !

    • louistaylored - Mar 21, 2011 at 5:45 PM

      Whoaa, lot of animosity there not sure what Jalen Rose did to you but you seem mighty upset about an issue that has little to nothing to do with you. And the Fab Five didnt win anything, you’re right but they were a huge thing in African American culture and even American culture. Also jut so you know, Jalen Rose was an honor student and had the grades to get into plenty colleges across the nation.

  9. dolphinphan - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    rose wasnt 17 when he made those comments. Was he saying he was too stupid and immature about 2 months ago? oh yea, and wait to toot your own horn about the learning center.

    • dolphinphan - Mar 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      way* to toot

  10. tstreet - Mar 25, 2011 at 4:47 AM

    Jalen do not have to apologize about those comments. He was clearly talking about how he felt when he was a teenager. When I saw the 30 for 30 special it was clear. I felt the same was about Duke back then. What happened next? I got wiser, more educated, and older over the next 20 years.

    I still hate Duke. But, it has nothing to do with the students that enroll in the school or the school itself.

  11. rogerskulnik - Mar 25, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    The Fab Five also took credit for extra-long shorts…which make players’ legs look like sticks emerging from drooping balloons. An example of style for style’s sake, of which there are always plenty, I thought… but isn’t it time for something that looks better?

    And yes, players fortunate enough to endow foundations for kids and hospitals should feel rightly proud… but this is no excuse for sky-high cable fees, ticket fees, salary scales…and yes, all the right-wing propaganda which justifies the refusal of rich people and corporations to pay their fair share of taxes in what is still the richest country on earth, one that could easily afford good school systems and basic public services?

    This subject is not entirely separate from the highly-publicized charity of NBA stars… or the silence by stars like Kobe and LeBron about the abuse of labor by shoe companies in Asia, from which they ( & their foundations?) enjoy huge profits.

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