Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called himself a “curious kid” after The Washington Post reported on a photo showing him among a group of white boys standing outside the entrance of an Arkansas high school as six Black students tried to be the first to enroll in 1957.
Jones told reporters after the Cowboys game on Thursday that he did not know at the time that a “monumental” event was happening.
“I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that,” he said.
The Post reported that the incident occurred on Sept. 9, 1957, which was the same month that nine Black students who became known as the Little Rock Nine desegregated Little Rock Central High School after former President Eisenhower sent federal troops to escort them in.
The photo the Post reported on shows Jones and other white students at North Little Rock High School standing in front of the doors of the school as the six Black students tried to enter.
Jones was just shy of 15 years old.
Jones told the Post in an interview that he was there to watch but not participate.
“It was more a curious thing,” Jones told the Post.
“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,” he told reporters on Thursday.
The Post also pointed out that Jones has not hired a Black head coach while he has owned the Cowboys for more than 30 years. He has had two Black coordinators in that time.
Jones said in the interview with the Post that he wants to be “first in line” in diversity.