Jalen Rose created a stir last month when he referred to black Duke players as “Uncle Toms” during a documentary about his Michigan “Fab Five” team from the early 1990s. Today he’s issuing an apology for his comment after finally being told what an Uncle Tom actually is.
“Today I was told the term I used to call Duke players like Grant Hill is very derogatory and hurtful,” said Rose in a prepared statement he also used to apologize for his recent DUI arrest. “I had no idea an Uncle Tom is a black person who lives life in the pocket of white people.”
Just a day after the Fab Five documentary aired on ESPN, Hill released a letter expressing his displeasure in Rose’s remarks, which puzzled Rose.
“I was surprised Grant was so angry because I thought an Uncle Tom was a guy with a flattop haircut,” said Rose. “When I was a kid my Uncle Tom had a haircut just like Grant Hill’s and Thomas Hill’s so that’s what I thought it meant.”