Being in Michigan – I’ve been hearing from everyone about the ESPN documentary “The Fab Five” that aired this past Sunday, regarding the 91-93 University of Michigan Basketball team. Mostly the people I’ve heard from loved it, thought it was great – I didn’t watch it – why? Michigan sucks! I’m a State fan – I don’t like U of M – and I really could care less about the “Fab Five”. That being said I loved Grant Hill’s reply in The New York Times to comments made about himself, his family and Duke basketball by Jalen Rose in the documentary. I can’t possibly paraphrase what Grant said any better, so from the article:
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…
…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.
I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.
Class. Unlike the Fab Five, Grant Hill, has always been extremely classy, and when thrown completely under the bus, he reacted with, class. There is a huge lessons here my friends:
1. People tend to see the same situation in very different ways – it’s a fact of life.
2. You chose how you respond and react to those situations.
3. U of M sucks.
See – I’m just like Grant – Classy!