ESPN’s Jalen Rose called the sole white member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team a “token” player and said he felt the player was only included to avoid sending an all-black team to the Olympics.
Rose made his outrageous comments on the Thursday broadcast of Jalen and Jacoby when he was asked what he thought of the players chosen for the Team USA roster.
Rose said, “But I’m disappointed in something. As I do this show every day, I do it in front of a picture of Tommy Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the Olympics.”
Rose continued insisting that white Cleveland Cavaliers player Kevin Love was a “token” player and he criticized the U.S. Olympics Committee for not sending an all-black team to the games. Love, Rose exclaimed, does not deserve to be going to the Olympics.
The former Indiana Pacers player then claimed that Love’s inclusion on the Olympic team is the same “tokenism” that put Christian Laettner on Team U.S.A. in 1992, instead of Shaquille O’Neal or Alonzo Mourning.
“Kevin Love is on the team because of tokenism,” Rose exclaimed about halfway through the Thursday broadcast. “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.
“I’m disappointed in Team U.S.A. for not having the courage to send an all-black team to the Olympics,” Rose concluded.
Rose’s criticism rings hollow, though, since the 2016 Team USA squad was all-black. So, clearly America is not “afraid” to send an all-black team to the international games.
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