The recent rift between Grant Hill and Jalen Rose began with allegations made during ESPN’s documentary on the Fab Five. (Rose, a former Michigan basketball player, said that he and his Fab Five teammates felt resentment toward Hill and his school, Duke. He explained that as college kids, they felt that the Blue Devils only recruited Black players who were “Uncle Toms.”) It led to a stinging op-ed in the New York Times (Hill wrote, “To hint that those who grew up in a household with a mother and father are somehow less black than those who did not is beyond ridiculous”), and all the tension of a championship basketball game.
And now it appears to be over. With a happy ending, no less. BET News reports that Rose and Hill have mended ways and will offer their collective fame and success to a cause that matters to both of them. Hill has teamed up with Rose in support of the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, set to open in Detroit this fall.
It’s a fitting end to a debate that, when stripped to its core, was fueled by Rose’s sense of frustration about unequal access to the opportunities, and Hill’s defense that, along with a solid family, “a good education is a privilege” that shouldn’t be mocked. When it comes down to it, the two athletes really didn’t disagree.
On Saturday, Rose clarified to the Detroit media that the views expressed in the documentary weren’t his current ones. “I definitely talked to Grant and reached out to Coach K, and again clarified that that was how I felt as a high school recruit,” he said.
The Jalen Rose Leadership Academy will be a charter school designed to provide a rigorous, nurturing college-prep experience for Detroit students who “may otherwise be lost in the shuffle of a large traditional school.” It is committed to ensuring that 100 percent of its students graduate from high school, 95 percent enroll in college and 90 percent of those enrollees graduate from college.
Looks to us that, in media-fueled racial controversies, unlike in basketball, there can be more than one winner.
Read more at BET News.
In other news: Don Lemon: Yes, the Black Community Is Homophobic.