Unlike Burnsy, I didn’t catch the premiere of the Fab Five documentary on ESPN (sorry, I don’t lap up every dinky little program that the monolith tries to spoon-feed me), but Jalen Rose’s comments about Grant Hill and the Duke basketball team did not go unchallenged, and certainly not by Grant Hill.
Hill, who has 337 more career starts (and counting) than Rose, took to The New York Times to counterpunch Rose’s claim of insufficient blackness (Rose is now an analyst for ESPN, if you didn’t know). But the only thing more pathetic than Jalen’s attempt to cut down Grant Hill for being educated is Hill’s attempt to validate the blue-collar legacy of his family. It’s the 2011 version of “I have lots of black friends.” And it’s sad.
From Hill’s piece:
In his garbled but sweeping comment that Duke recruits only “black players that were ‘Uncle Toms,’ ” Jalen seems to change the usual meaning of those very vitriolic words into his own meaning, i.e., blacks from two-parent, middle-class families. He leaves us all guessing exactly what he believes today.
I am beyond fortunate to have two parents who are still working well into their 60s. They received great educations and use them every day. My parents taught me a personal ethic I try to live by and pass on to my children.
I come from a strong legacy of black Americans. My namesake, Henry Hill, my father’s father, was a day laborer in Baltimore. He could not read or write until he was taught to do so by my grandmother. His first present to my dad was a set of encyclopedias, which I now have. He wanted his only child, my father, to have a good education, so he made numerous sacrifices to see that he got an education, including attending Yale.
It says a lot that Rose felt the need to apologize to Hill before the documentary aired, that Rose felt that Hill wasn’t black enough to be a good teammate and still wasn’t black enough to gloss over commentary on that subject today. It’s cool if Rose is just bent that Grant Hill actually met his own father, but calling him a b:tch in a documentary produced by a company that pays you for objective analysis is, at best, irresponsible.
Why everything has to be “black this” or black that” is something that I’ll never understand, especially when all the unity talk goes out the window whenever a pretty white girl shows up at the club. But one guy ran his mouth in what amounted to programming for his own employer. The other fired back from a column of one of the most-read publications of the world. You tell me which one is the sellout.