Skip to content

LeBron: Why hasn't media asked me about Jerry Jones desegregation photo?

MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images / MediaNews Group / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James pointed out to reporters after Tuesday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers that he has yet to be asked about a recently resurfaced photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

James contrasted that with the media asking him multiple times about the Kyrie Irving situation where Irving was suspended for sharing a link to an antisemitic film via Twitter.

Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was recently identified in a photo from 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, among a group of white high school students attempting to stop Black classmates from desegregating the school. Jones would've been 14 or 15 years old at the time.

"I was wondering why I haven't gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo," James said. "But when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask those questions. ... I don't even want you guys to say nothing.

"When I watched 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 have been through,' and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America.

"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 to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation and photo - and I know it was years and years ago and we all make mistakes, I get it - But it seemed like it's 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."

When asked last week about the photo, Jones said he didn't understand the event at the time and was only there to watch, not side with those against desegregation.

"I didn't know at the time the monumental event really that was going on," Jones said, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. "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."

James, who has spoken about being a Cowboys fan in the past, said in October that he no longer supports the franchise because its leadership reprimanded players who kneeled during the national anthem as a form of protest against racial injustice. Jones said in October 2017 that any player who "disrespects the flag" wouldn't be allowed to play for the club.

The Lakers star is an outspoken social justice advocate, particularly with regard to anti-Black racism and police brutality.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox