Since ESPN distanced itself from LaVar Ball after he made an inappropriate comment to host Molly Qerim while live on the air, Qerim has been accused of being oversensitive, vindictive, and even personally getting Ball banned. Qerim’s husband, ESPN analyst and former NBA star Jalen Rose, finally had enough this week. He posted an Instagram live story to share his opinion and clear the air about what transpired between his wife and Ball.
Rose started out with the most important thing: Qerim is entitled to her feelings, no matter what anyone else thinks of them.
“Regardless of where you stand – you can feel that what he said was inappropriate. You can feel that she overreacted. However you feel, you’re entitled to your opinion. But you know what you’re not allowed to do? Is tell her how to feel.”
Since it happened, Rose has tried calling and texting Ball several times (Rose says that he “respects” Ball), but hasn’t gotten any response. And he has zero patience for anyone who accuses him or Qerim of personally getting Ball banned from ESPN.
“Molly talks to TMZ, and they ask her a question about, ‘How do you feel about LaVar being banned?’ She clearly said, ‘That’s above my pay grade, I don’t know anything about that.’
Then it graduated to somebody saying that he got banned from ESPN. She and I didn’t send no texts, no emails, no overtures to get anybody banned from ESPN – the company that we work for and don’t own, fools.”
Rose doesn’t like the use of the word “banned,” since strictly speaking, that’s not what ESPN did. ESPN said in a statement that it has no plans to have Ball back as an on-air guest in the future. Rose pointed out that Ball will still probably appear in news stories for the network — he’ll be at games watching his son Lonzo play for the New Orleans Pelicans next season, and he’ll be at next year’s NBA draft when his son LaMelo is picked.
Rose also defended Qerim from critics alleging that there’s a racial angle to the ordeal.
“Then it went to, ‘Oh Molly, you got a black man banned from ESPN.’ Y’all know she’s married to a black husband, right? She’s covered the NFL, the NBA, college basketball, MMA… she’s been doing this for 15 years. She knows how to navigate. She knows how to take care of herself.
Somebody pays her to talk about sports. She’s a vet. So this idea that she woke up that morning and like, ‘Oh, I’m going to see what I can do to try to trap LaVar.’ It didn’t have nothing to do with his race, fools… If she felt some type of way about what he said, then she felt some type of way about what he said. And you know what? I’m riding with her.”
Rose has his wife’s back, which is exactly what a good spouse and partner does.
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