DionRabouin.com (sort of)

Derrick Rose issues one of the all-time great public apologies

Posted in Sports by dionrabouin on June 13, 2009

Part of being a celebrity is issuing apologies to the public who really have no business dipping into your private life in the first place, but somehow feel that they’ve been wronged when you do something that could be frowned upon.

In the picture below, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is seen as a freshman at Memphis throwing up what appears to be (and definitely is) a gang sign on each hand.

D Rose gang bangin

D Rose gang bangin

Rose issued this public apology in a statement: “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.”

Rose is now all of 20, two years older than when he took the picture, and has issued one of what I consider the best public apologies of all time. Not only does he hit all the right notes, but he’s so emphatic about his disdain for gangs and gang culture that it’s almost believable. That’s what makes a public apology great, when you read it and you find yourself not only believing the person in genuinely remorseful, but you come away feeling a little bad for them.

I remember reading recently some post about J.R. Smith throwing up gang signs after shooting a three-pointer in the Nuggets win over the Lakers. The writer was all disgusted and up atop his soapbox vehemently pontificating about the effect it would have on the poor, unsuspecting black youth of America. The writer was (supposedly) black and he made the point that some little, black kid in the ghetto might throw up the same gang sign, in an effort to “Be Like JR,” and get shot.

The only problem with his logic was that JR was throwing up three fingers to signify a three-point shot. I think almost anyone could see it and I’m pretty sure anyone that lives in the ghetto knows what signs to flash and what signs not to and I’m pretty sure gang members don’t do shooting people for throwing up three fingers after a three point shot. I don’t want to publicize the idiot who wrote the blog, but here’s the link to the youtube video cleverly featuring Devin the Dude’s “Highway,” you can decide for yourself http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO9YaExmTBA

Rose is seen in the picture throwing up a known gang sign and rather than being a typical “bad boy” or issuing some statement that his agent obviously wrote and had proofread by his publicist, he submits the statement above, which is heartfelt, remorseful and in no uncertain terms decries gangs and gang violence. Whether he means a single word or not, you certainly can’t find a single fault in the wording or the stance. The apology is so good that I can’t even hate him for referring to himself in the third person.

Since it’s not a bong or a burning American flag, I doubt Rose will take much flack for this whole issue. I certainly hope he’s not actually involved in any type of gang violence, but it’s natural coming from an area full of gang activity to know and be friendly with gang members. Rose is from Englewood, IL, right outside Chicago, which certainly fits the description.

Every other famous person who does something wrong could learn a thing or two from Derrick Rose.


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