Bloom Coming off the Rose?

Photo shows Derrick Rose throwing gang symbol

Derrick Rose just can't seem to stay away from bad press lately.

A photo making the rounds on the Internet is stirring up more unwanted attention for the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.   The photo shows Rose and another man flashing a gang symbol.

Rose claims he was just joking around, but the Tribune identified the sign as the pitchfork symbol of the Gangster Disciples.

Law enforcement sources tell NBC Chicago that the photo was taken over a year ago, before Rose entered the NBA.   Law enforcement sources said Rose is not under investigation and is not involved in any wrongdoing.

Late Thursday, Rose issued this 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.

Last month, Rose's name came up in an NCAA investigation into his college, the University of Memphis.  The NCAA said a ringer took the SAT for a student who played basketball at the school.  Rose was suspected to be that student.  Then, a Sun-Times investigation found that while at Simeon High School, someone changed a grade on Rose's transcript while he was trying to get into college.  The grade was changed back, and it isn't clear that Rose knew about or was involved in making the alteration.

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