Derrick Rose’s blemished past threatens to overwrite return

Derrick Rose rarely lives an uneventful life. Accolades at a young age, debilitating injuries, scandals and comebacks have all been crammed inside under a decade. As Grant Barnes writes, his controversial history is still an awkward subject despite a return to form.


Rose let his emotions out after hitting 50 last week (Credit: USA Sports Today)

The case of Derrick Rose is a curious one. The 30-year-old had the world at his feet seven years ago, having just become the youngest ever NBA MVP and securing a five year, $94.8 million contract. A torn ACL would curb the progression of one of the most promising stars the NBA has seen since the turn of the century.

On Wednesday night, Rose looked back to his explosive best. He dropped a career-high 50 points, leading the Minnesota Timberwolves past the Utah Jazz. The basketball world rejoiced as one of its prodigal sons had seemingly returned.

However, there is a darker side to Derrick Rose’s story.

In 2016, Rose and two friends were acquitted of a gang rape which took place three years previous. The three men were accused of breaking into the alleged victims house, drugging and raping her.


Rose was found not liable after a long-running case (Credit: Sports Illustrated)

The NBA star admitted to having sex with the woman, and also admitted that he did not know what consent mean, however was not held accountable for his actions. So, just how much should we be celebrating the return of D-Rose?

Rose’s career has rarely taken a back seat in the public eye. He entered the league as a rookie with explosive power and the ability to lead a team to the next level. His MVP season heralded in a new personal era, before his debilitating injury curbed a sure-fire Hall of Fame career.

Despite countless injury setbacks, including multiple knee surgeries, he has always fought his way back into the league, and was finally rewarded after his career-reviving night on Wednesday.

Fox Sports commentator Jim Petersen tried his hand at addressing Rose’s off the field issues at the end of the game, saying “I’m not a judge and I’m not a jury, and to my estimation he’s not been convicted of anything. But he plays hard.”

In a half-hearted attempt to address these rumours, all Petersen achieved was a blemish into the past of Rose during one of his greatest nights.

ESPN outright refused to mention the case on their coverage.

During the court case, Rose admitted to not knowing what consent meant, and also admitted to not gaining consent in a text message conversation he had with his accuser.

After his legal team went on to shame the accuser’s sexual history and aimed to force a woman to prove her case against a millionaire superstar, he was found not liable.

Remarkably, after the case, jurors were seen taking pictures with Rose inside the courthouse.

Media and fans alike were quick to jump back on the 2012 Derrick Rose hype after Wednesday. Much of the narrative coming from social media looked to glorify a man who had constantly been “looked over, left for dead, buried, forgotten” according to Athletic NBA writer Michael Lee.


Aged just 22, Rose become the youngest MVP in NBA history (Credit: NBA)

This has led to many media outlets struggling to cope with how to handle the D-Rose situation. Awkward, uncomfortable commentary was translated into articles which further blurred the lines between Derrick Rose the sportsperson and Derrick Rose the man, and in ESPN’s case, their silence was deafening.

In sports, a feel good story is media gold. It will sell easily, get readers on your side, and you can reminisce about one of your former heroes. However, with some parts of the media struggling to find the correct way to go about this supposed comeback, it begs the question as to how feel good this story really is.

In his prime, Derrick Rose was one of the most explosive, enjoyable basketball players to watch. However his past cannot be ignored. The fumbling attempts of the media to etch in his sketchy past with his resurgent present is highlights just how curious the case of Derrick Rose really is.

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