ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, who said in June 2021 that Kevin Love of the Cleveland Cavaliers only made Team USA’s roster for the Olympics because he was white, has now aimed for bigger game, insisting that people stop using Mount Rushmore as a term indicating greatness.
Mount Rushmore, located in South Dakota, famously features sculptures of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.
“I want to continue to challenge myself and challenge you to do something. Can we retire using Mount Rushmore?” Rose asked. “That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans and indigenous people, who were the first people here before Christopher Columbus. That land was stolen from them.”
Rose then put on his history cap, which didn’t fit well: “When it was discovered that it contained gold, and 25 years later, to add insult to injury, four American presidents were put on what we call Mount Rushmore on the top of the dead bodies that is buried right underneath.”
“So I call for you and myself — I’m owning this, too — let’s stop using the term Mount Rushmore when we talk about our favorite rappers, talking about our favorite movies, we talkin’ about our favorite players. I know you gonna see this video, and I know you gonna take action,” he declared.
Rose, who played 13 years in the NBA, later confessed he had deliberately tried to injure Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant during Game 2 of the 2000 NBA Finals, purposely slipping one of his feet under Bryant while he was in the air. Bryant landed and suffered a sprained ankle.
In 2021, on Rose’s show “Jalen and Jacoby,” Rose said, “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,” he continued,
The 2016 U.S. Olympics basketball team was an all-black roster.
Rose later insisted, “If I feel like Kevin Love should make the team or not, I’m entitled to my opinion,” Rose said. “You don’t have to like my opinion, you don’t have to like me. There’s a lot of people trying to assassinate my character or whatever, but those people, some of them, have been doing to for like 30 years … that’s how it is when you have the nerve in a lot of peoples’ estimation to be outspoken.”
“But you know why I’m apologizing right now? To the game. Because I’m what the game made me,” he continued. “I was raised by the all-time greats and you know what I would never want to do? Disappoint Jeanie Rose or disappoint the all-time greats that raised me.”
“Not that I believe that you deserve to make the team,” he referenced Love. “I’m pretty sure when you got the call too you were like ‘Word?! I’m on the squad.’ I know how this works ya’ll. He looked down at his phone and was like, ‘Yo, they want me? They’re gonna ignore these Cleveland Cav lost tape years?’”