Mar 17, 2011

Grant Hill took to the New York Times to write an open letter in response to the 'The Fab Five' documentary that recently aired on ESPN.  Hill took great exception to comments made by Jalen Rose when he basically insinuated that all the players that were recruited by Duke were 'Uncle Toms'.  
Here is a snippet of what he wrote:

It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a bitch and worse, calling all black players at Duke "Uncle Toms" and, to some degree, disparaging my parents for their education, work ethic and commitment to each other and to me. I should have guessed there was something regrettable in the documentary when I received a Twitter apology from Jalen before its premiere. I am aware Jalen has gone to some length to explain his remarks about my family in numerous interviews, so I believe he has some admiration for them.

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.

This is part of our great tradition as black Americans. We aspire for the best or better for our children and work hard to make that happen for them. Jalen's mother is part of our great black tradition and made the same sacrifices for him.

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. All of us are extremely proud of the current Duke team, especially Nolan Smith. He was raised by his mother, plays in memory of his late father and carries himself with the pride and confidence that they instilled in him.

I caution my fabulous five friends to avoid stereotyping me and others they do not know in much the same way so many people stereotyped them back then for their appearance and swagger. I wish for you the restoration of the bond that made you friends, brothers and icons.

In response to the open letter that was written by Grant Hill, Jimmy King and Jalen Rose both weighed in on their Twitter pages:
Then former Michigan star Jimmy King weighed in with comments to the Journal's Daily Fix blog, and said on his Twitter page that "Wall St Journal just asked me how i feel abt grant hill writing an article in NEW YORK TIMES…i got 99 problems and a grant aint one." On his Twitter page, Rose wrote "I didn't say anything in the doc that I didn't say to a players FACE" and then went on to say "For those MOANING about how something or someone was portrayed in the doc note that it was FRAMED from 1991-1993 not 2011 #quit crying." source


  1. This reminds me of ONE of the many *Life-lessons* I was taught when I was a child:

    What you say (and how you say it), CAN, in an instant, forever Change the relationship or friendship you have with someone, for good or ill. So THINK before you speak. Weigh the pros and cons and consider the cost BEFORE you go there.

    Did Jalen have a right to express how he honestly felt *back in the day* about Duke and the Black players recruited by Duke? Yes.

    Does he still feel that way? He has repeatedly said “No” during interviews following the showing.

    Did he make THAT point perfectly clear in the documentary? No.

    Is Grant within his rights to *check* Jalen? Yes.

    Does Jalen now feel that *dissing* his fellow Black brethren was worth all the hurt feelings, it was bound to cause?

    NO. Why do I say this? Because Jalen tried to apologize to Grant, PRIOR to the documentary airing.

    Will the back-and-forth exchanges continue until things REALLY get ugly?

    I certainly hope not.

  2. It's in the past. PLEASE, turn the page. My gosh. These are black men who actually got the chance at a college education and are doing something positive with their lives. Don't play into the hype - it was over twenty years ago.