As a former NBA point guard turned analyst, Jalen Rose has the platform to speak on various topics relating to sports, culture, and even politics. Usually, his takes are pretty tame compared to others in the field, but he does have his moments.
This week, the ESPN broadcaster took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the 'Mount Rushmore' tradition that has become so popular in basketball circles. According to Jalen, the term is offensive, and we should all try harder to put it to bed forever.
"Can we retire using ‘Mount Rushmore?' That should be offensive to all of us, especially Native Americans, Indigenous people who were the first people here before Christopher Columbus," Rose said in a video he tweeted. "That land was stolen from them 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 for myself — I'm owning this, too — let's stop using the term ‘Mount Rushmore' when we're talking about our favorite rappers, talking about our favorite movies, talking about our favorite players."
No matter who may or may not be on your NBA Mount Rushmore, Jalen isn't wrong when he identified its origins.
The monument stands as a beacon of American pride and progress, but it also serves as a reminder of what we did to get there. In the early days of the country, natives were basically forced off their own land for the sake of integrating them into the culture they deemed appropriate.
Really, Mount Rushmore (and a lot of similar monuments) has a dark history that probably shouldn't be ignored. You can't blame Jalen for shedding some light on that.