LeBron James wants to talk about Jerry Jones and a photo of him as a teenager appearing to block Black students from entering a school. Jones isn’t interested in that conversation.
“I got one question for you guys before you guys leave,” said James. “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. But when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”
The photo in question — of a 14-year-old Jones in the background as white students blocked black students from entering North Little Rock High School in 1957— appeared as part of a Washington Post story about Jones’ woeful track record in hiring coaches of color.
James went on to say:
“When I watch Kyrie talk and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we’re talking about my people and the things that we’ve been through,’ and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America. 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.
“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.”
Jones had already responded to media questions about the Washington Post article, saying: “I didn’t know at the time the monumental event really that was going on. I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that. I am. That would remind me [to] just continue to do everything we can to not have those kinds of things happen.”
Now in an appearance on a Dallas radio station, he’s responded to the comments from LeBron.
What did Jerry Jones have to say about criticism from LeBron James?
James, who grew up as a Cowboys fan, said in October that he no longer considered himself a fan of the team because of how the organization handled racial justice protests and players wanting to kneel for the national anthem.
Notably, that’s the part Jones really seems to be responding to here, rather than anything about LeBron’s most recent comments. It sounds like Jones is willing to let his previous explanation for the photograph stand, without further conversation.