On ESPN’s 30 for 30, Jalen Rose called Grant Hill and other black basketball players who attended Duke University (specifically in the 1990s) “Uncle Toms”. Here are my thoughts…


It’s unfortunate…

Duke only recruits a certain type of black kid…


If that’s “Uncle Tom”…I’ll take it!!!

I’m so sick of black men making degrading comments towards each other because they are salty over the other man’s achievements! Stop acting like being intelligent and wealthy (not rich) is selling out. It’s a painfully ignorant stance and an ideology that merely perpetuates poverty, which often leads to violence and crime. Thus, creating a cycle in which instead of celebrating one another, we continue to create toxic situations within our communities.

Jalen, did you ever stop to realize that you may not have fit into the Duke program for reasons beyond being an inner city kid? Coach K has a rather proven track record. I’m no expert but I’m gonna go ahead and say that he knows what he is doing. And you know as well as I do, that programs focus their recruiting efforts within their respective “pipeline states”.

Would you have stayed at Duke for all 4 years?

Would you have been a brat when Coach K said no to the long shorts and the black socks?

Would you have let him fit you into the system?

Would you have just done your job?

Would that “filter-less 17yr old” stay out of trouble in a city like Durham? (If you’ve ever actually been thru Durham, you know what I mean here)

I doubt it Jalen.

What you said was ignorant and poorly judged no matter how “real” it may have been. Even if you truly felt that way, given your position, you acted irresponsibly. We as black men really need to do better. I guess Barack Obama is an “Uncle Tom” too huh? I mean his mom is white; he is from Hawaii, and OH NO! He’s the President of the United States!! How whack is that?

You’re right. He should have been a drug dealer or a rap star instead of going to Columbia University and Harvard Law School.

Please explain to me how getting a free education from Duke University, winning national championships, and having a more productive NBA career than you (in the case of Grant Hill) is selling out!!

And let’s keep it really 100 Mr Rose. It’s not like you went to Morehouse. You went to Michigan, a ‘white’ school, which you referenced as the ‘Harvard of the West’. Explain to me how a black athlete who goes to the real Harvard or Princeton or Duke is an “Uncle Tom”, but a black athlete who goes to a school you so lovingly revere as the ‘Harvard of the West’ gets a pass. Based on this obscenely flawed logic you are a sell out and an Uncle Tom of the highest order, because Nike (not a black company) and Michigan (not a black school) are still cashing checks off of the money the Fab 5 made them! Money they sure didn’t trickle down to you or C-Webb. I mean they probably slipped yall some peanuts under the table, but this was surely a marginal (and budgeted) expense given the revenue that was being generated.  I won’t insult your intelligence by diving into a discussion regarding brand recognition and the ‘lake effect’ phenomenon that was undoubtedly a result of the Fab Five’s impact on basketball and pop culture.

Do you get a royalty check every time the University of Michigan mention’s your name on a recruiting trip or campus tour? I think not. You may be rich Jalen, but for every $1 you ever made playing basketball, you made some white man $1,000. Because they own the teams, they own the buildings, they own the buses, they own the airplanes, they own the companies you endorsed, they own the company who currently writes your paychecks, and this whole controversy will increase ESPN’s equity while damaging yours. Therefore, from an economic stand-point, if any black athlete is an “Uncle Tom”, you, sir, are right there with them.

Let me close with this. I respect Jalen Rose as a man and as a human being. I do, however, vehemently disagree with his stance toward black athletes who go to schools such as Duke. I hope he issues all of them a public apology.

As a highly educated black male, I express these views out of love and the desire to see us hold ourselves to a higher standard. That is all.

If for some reason you feel that I have misunderstood Mr. Rose, I welcome an open and respectful dialogue!