The most talked-about moments from last night’s ESPN Fab Five documentary were the ones involving Duke, and the perception among the Fab Five that Duke only recruited a certain type of player. That type of player: white, or from a polished, well-to-do black family.
This perception is not new. But what ruffled some feathers last night was when Jalen Rose used the term “Uncle Tom” to describe how he felt (as an eighteen-year-old) about Duke’s black players. From the documentary:
“For me, Duke was personal. I hated Duke. And I hated everything I felt Duke stood for. Schools like Duke didn’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”
Today on ESPN’s First Take, Fab Five member Jimmy King was asked about these comments. It’s an interesting segment: King describes how he couldn’t identify with Duke’s program growing up, and some of the feelings that that engendered. He was also asked to give his definition of what an “Uncle Tom” is. Video here, courtesy of ESPN.