By Paul M. Banks
As if the University of Memphis needed more bad PR. Headlines surrounding the program lately have been dominated by questions over whether former player and current Chicago Bull star Derrick Rose had someone take his SAT for him; as well as other stories of institutionalized corruption and malfeasance within the Memphis Tigers family.
Then the USC scandal broke and the men of Troy took the spotlight off the basketball mercenaries (well, maybe that’s a bit unfair- mercenaries are actually paid) affiliated with Memphis. So just when everyone had forgotten about Rose’s possibly cheating and coasting his way through his one year of school (seriously, doesn’t this mandated one year of college in order to get drafted rule seem even more incredibly stupid now?) we were reminded that “every Rose has its thorn.” Apologies to the ’80s hair band Poison.
I’ll let Derrick Rose explain the picture above in his own words. This is a statement released from the Bulls at 5pm Thursday June 11th.
“Recently, a photo has been circulating on the Internet which appears to depict me flashing a gang sign. This photo of me was taken at a party I attended in Memphis while I was in school there, and was meant as a joke…a bad one, I now admit. I want to emphatically state, now and forever, that Derrick Rose is anti-gang, anti-drug, and anti-violence. I am not, nor have I ever been, affiliated with any gang and I can’t speak loudly enough against gang violence, and the things that gangs represent.
In posing for this picture, I am guilty of being young, naive and of using extremely poor judgment. I sincerely apologize to all my fans for my mistake. I pride myself on being a good citizen, and role model, that young people can look up to and I want to urge all my young fans to stay away from gangs and gang-related activities.”
The image of Rose wilts from a minor gaffe that seems slightly offensive at worst, juvenile at best. Of course, this will blow over in a few days and Bulls fans will go back to having a man-crush on him. In the bigger picture, it’s yet another lesson about life in the internet/web 2.0/social media era. Remember, there are cell phone cameras and Blackberrys around everywhere you go, and if you get caught doing something that’s unfavorable to your public perception, it’ll spread like a virus.