LeBron James asks why reporters haven’t questioned him about Jerry Jones photo
Los Angeles Lakers star forward LeBron James on Wednesday called out the media for the lack of questions about his opinion on a recently surfaced photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
During a press conference after the Lakers’ 128-109 victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, James asked reporters why he hasn’t been asked any questions about Jones.
He alluded to reporters’ comparably greater interest in his remarks following a recent controversy surrounding former teammate Kyrie Irving.
James’s remarks come after The Washington Post published a story last week showing Jones, who was 14 years old at the time, among a group of white boys standing outside the entrance of an Arkansas high school in 1957 as six Black students tried to enroll there.
The events in the photo of Jones occurred during the time when former President Eisenhower sent federal troops to escort nine Black students in an effort to desegregate Little Rock Central High School, years later known as the Little Rock Nine.
“I got one question for you guys before you guys leave. I was thinking when I was on my way over here, I was wondering why I haven’t gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo,” James told reporters. “But when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”
James, a four-time NBA champion, also told the media the Jones incident is one of the many things that Black people have to go through in this country.
“And I feel like as a Black man, as a Black athlete, as someone with power and a platform, when we do something wrong, or something that people don’t agree with, it’s on every single tabloid, every single news coverage, it’s on the bottom ticker. It’s asked about every single day,” James added.
Last month, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving due to his failure to take accountability after posting a tweet that shared an antisemitic film. Irving, 30, has since returned to the Nets and has apologized for his action and remarks.
“But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, photo — and I know it was years and years ago and we all make mistakes, I get it — but it seems like it’s just been buried under, like, ‘Oh, it happened. OK, we just move on.’ And I was just kind of disappointed that I haven’t received that question from you guys,” he concluded.
The photo was included in the Post’s profile of Jones, which examined his poor track record of not hiring a Black head football coach throughout his tenure as Cowboys owner after purchasing the Dallas-based NFL franchise in 1989.
Speaking to reporters after the Cowboys Thanksgiving game, Jones referred to himself as a “curious kid” when asked about the photo, saying that he did not know at the time the event would be “monumental” years later.
“Nobody there had any idea, frankly, what was going to take place. You didn’t have all the last 70 years of reference and all the things that were going,” the 80-year-old NFL owner told reporters.