ESPN’s Jalen Rose appeared on First Take this morning to discuss 30 for 30’s Fab Five documentary. During the segment, ESPN producers showed a very interesting clip from the film, wherein Rose said, “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.”
Before anyone jumps down his throat, however, be sure to listen to everything that he said, including what he said after the clip was shown.
Rose’s comments will be sure to get some people buzzing (and, to some degree, they already have: CBS Sports’ Mike Freeman called Rose’s comments “wrongheaded”), especially the “Uncle Tom” comment, since it appears to be a blanket statement about all of Duke’s black players.
But, keep in mind, this is what Rose thought as an 18-year-old kid, coming out of inner-city Detroit. Later, he clarified his current position on the Blue Devils.
“Well, certain schools recruit a typical kind of player whether the world admits it or not. And Duke is one of those schools,” he said. “They recruit black players from polished families, accomplished families. And that’s fine. That’s okay. But when you’re an inner-city kid playing in a public school league, you know that certain schools aren’t going to recruit you. That’s one. And I’m okay with it. That’s how I felt as an 18-year-old kid.”
Watch video of Rose’s comments on Duke here, courtesy of ESPN.