Jerry Jones has responded to LeBron James questioning reporters about their lack of coverage regarding a questionable photo in which the Dallas Cowboys owner was spotted at a racially-discriminatory protest.
The picture, which surfaced last week, was taken in 1957 and captures a then-teenaged Jones standing among a group of white boys blocking the entry of a group of Black youths from entering a school.
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During his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, the 80-year-old was asked of James’ remarks. While he didn’t address the Los Angeles Lakers’ star’s reference to the controversial photo, he did commend the NBA champ’s accomplishments on and off the court, as well as voicing his delight in the former Cowboys diehard once being a fan of his franchise.
“First of all, you have to hear me say how much I think of LeBron,” the billionaire expressed. “I don’t know of anybody that I respect more, I don’t know of anybody that’s taken every opportunity he’s had and maximized it.
“Not only (has he been) a great ambassador for sport, he has taken sports, he has taken his venues, and used those platforms – I want to be sure that you know where I’m coming from. It made buttons pop off my vest, so to speak, when he would talk about how much of a Cowboy fan he was. He would’ve made a great tight end. That doesn’t change. There’s nothing about any of that changes.”
Jones added, “Certainly, he has influence, and just because of all of the above. His accomplishments, how he’s utilized his sport and how he’s utilized his platform. How we have done it. He has enhanced basketball, he’s made a lot of people a lot of money. I hope I have too.”
On Wednesday (Nov. 30), LeBron brought up the topic of Jones’ photo while comparing the lack of inquiries he’s gotten on his opinion of it to the swarm of questions he was asked regarding Kyrie Irving’s social media post of an anti-semitic documentary.
“When the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that,” the 38-year-old told reporters following the Lakers’ victory over the Portland Trailblazers. “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.”
Jones has publicly denied being involved in the racial discrimination of the Black boys in the picture and described himself as a mere onlooker witnessing the event. “I think the key thing is, for me, is that it’s a misread if you think that I don’t recognize how monumental those days were,” he said in a statement after the photo went viral.