LOS ANGELES — After answering questions about the Los Angeles Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, Lebron James he turned to the reporters in the room with a question of his own.
James wanted to know why he hadn’t been asked about a recently surfaced photo showing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, at the age of 14, looking over a crowd of white students who were trying to stop six black students from entering. through the gates of North Little Rock High School in 1957.
“I have a question for you before you go. I was thinking when I was on my way here, I was wondering why I didn’t get a question from you about the Jerry Jones photo,” James said. “But when the thing about kyrie [Irving]you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”
On Nov. 5, after the Brooklyn Nets announced the suspension of James’ former teammate after Irving shared a link to a documentary containing anti-Semitic tropes on social media, James was asked why he believed so few players in the The league had commented on Irving’s post and subsequent comments.
“I personally don’t condone any kind of hate. To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You know what I believe in,” James said at the time. “I think what Kyrie did hurt a lot of people. And since then, I think he went today or yesterday, he apologized. But he did some damage, and I think he’s unfortunate.”
On November 23, The Washington Post published a story which examines Jones’ record of not hiring black coaches during his tenure as owner of the Cowboys. Included within the story was a black-and-white photo showing a young Jones watching bullying from black students a few feet in front of him.
Addressing reporters at the end of his post-game press conference on Wednesday, James said: “When I see Kyrie speak and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we talk about my people and the things I we’ve been through,’ and that picture of Jerry Jones is one of those moments that our people, black people, have gone through in the United States. And I feel like a black man, like a black athlete, like someone with power and a platform, when we do something wrong, or something that people disagree with, it’s all over the tabloids, all over the news coverage. It’s asked every day.”
“But it seems to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, the photo, and I know it was years and years ago and we all make mistakes, I get it, but it seems like it’s been buried under the narrative of ‘Oh, it happened. Okay, let’s move on. Go ahead.’ And I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get that question from you guys.”
Jones, when asked about 65 year old photographytold reporters last week that he was merely present as a curious bystander and did not discriminate against black students.
“I didn’t know at the time what a monumental event was really happening,” Jones said. “I’m very glad we’re a long way from that. I am. That would just remind me to continue to do everything we can so that those kinds of things don’t happen.”
James grew up in Akron, Ohio, about an hour from Cleveland, where the Browns played their NFL home games, but identified as a Cowboys fan as a child, explaining as an adult that he just wanted to be associated with a winner. while enduring a harsh upbringing. Appearing on Instagram Live with his longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter in October to promote “The Shop” in partnership with Amazon to offer an alternative broadcast of “Thursday Night Football”, James explained why he had stopped supporting the cowboys.
“I had to leave the Cowboys,” James said when asked if he was still a Cowboys fan. “There’s a lot of things that happened when players took a knee. They had free speech and they wanted to do it in a very peaceful way… The organization was like, ‘If you do that here, then you’ll never play for this franchise again.’ I just didn’t think That was appropriate.”
Jones, in 2017, when many NFL players began taking a knee during the national anthem in a gesture of solidarity for then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest against police brutality, said no.” would tolerate” any of his players “disrespecting the flag”.
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LeBron: Why don’t you ask about the photo of Jerry Jones?