The US men’s basketball team will be chasing their 4th Olympic Gold Medal this summer in Tokyo starting Friday, July 23.
ESPN analyst Jalen Rose has been accused of race hustling by several conservative critics after claiming he was “disappointed” that Kevin Love, who is white, was on the Olympic roster.
“I’m excited about the roster, and I assume, and I know, we’re going to win the gold. But I’m disappointed in something. As I do this show every day, I do it in front of a picture of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fist at the Olympics. I also know the favoritism that Christian Laettner was shown when he got a chance to be put on the Dream Team ahead of Shaq and Alonzo [Mourning]. But they made it so a college player could even get on and gave him favoritism,” he said on his show “Jalen & Jacoby.”
“But this level of, and I got a word for it … Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism. Don’t be scared to make an all-Black team representing the United States of America. I’m disappointed by that. Anybody that watched the league this year knows Kevin Love did not have a stellar season, was not the best player on his team, and did not necessarily deserve to be on this squad. And I’m not going to take him off the squad and not put somebody else on it. I’m going to tell you whose spot that should be.
That should be a young man that was born in the Bahamas. That is a McDonald’s All-American, playing high school and college in Phoenix, Arizona. Deandre Ayton should have Kevin Love’s spot. And I’m disappointed in Team USA for not having the courage to send an all-Black team to the Olympics.”
— Jalen & Jacoby (@JalenandJacoby) June 24, 2021
During the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2010 FIBA World Championships, Love helped team USA win gold. Love is also a five-time All-Star and won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016.
In the 2020-21 season, Love only played in 25 Cleveland Cavaliers games due to injury. However, he still managed to play well enough to rank in the top five in the team with 12.2 PPG and 7.4 RPG, placing him third in rebounds in the top five.
Despite the NBA being predominantly black, Rose accused the league of picking Love solely based on his skin color. Rose also doesn’t seem to remember that the US Men’s Basketball Teams members in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2016 were all African American.
Only six, including Love, white NBA players, have competed in Olympic tournaments since NBA players began competing.
Nearly 60 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. addressed the issue of race, saying, “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Sadly, Mr. King’s dream has been tarnished by figures like Jalen Rose and others that would rather judge people by the color of their skin rather than their actions.
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