Rose: Controversial photo a mistake

Updated: June 12, 2009, 2:19 PM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Derrick Rose
hardwoodparoxysm.comDerrick Rose said the undated photo was taken while he attended a party in Memphis.
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose issued a statement regarding a photo that features him apparently flashing a gang sign.

"Recently, a photo has been circulating on the Internet which appears to depict me flashing a gang sign," Rose said in the statement. "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, 20, grew up in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. He attended Simeon Career Academy, which he led to back-to-back state titles.

Rose, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2008 NBA draft who led the Bulls to the playoffs, was already under a cloud cast by an NCAA investigation of major violations at Memphis during the only season he played there.

In a letter to Memphis, the NCAA said an unknown person took the SAT for a player -- with his knowledge -- and that the player used it to get admitted. The governing body says the athlete played for the Tigers only in the 2007-08 season and the 2008 NCAA tournament. Only one person fits that description -- Rose.

While the allegations swirled, Rose has kept quiet.

The only word out of his camp has been a statement by attorney Daniel E. Reidy, who said Rose cooperated in an investigation by Memphis that uncovered "no wrongdoing on his part."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NBA HEADLINES