LOS ANGELES — After answering questions about the Los Angeles Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, LeBron James turned reporters around the room with a question of his own.
Why, James wanted to know, wasn’t he asked about a recent photo that showed Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, aged 14, peering over a crowd of white students trying to take six black students on to prevent entering the doors of North Little Rock High School in 1957?
“I have a question for you before you go. I thought as I was walking over here I was wondering why I didn’t get a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo,” James said. “But if that Kyrie [Irving] what was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about it.”
On November 5, after the Brooklyn Nets announced a suspension for James’ former teammates after Irving shared a link to a documentary with anti-Semitic tropes on social media, James was asked why he thinks so few players in the Liga had commented on Irving’s post and subsequent comments.
“Personally, I do not condone hatred of any kind. Any race. To Jewish communities, to black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand,” James said at the time. “I think what Kyrie did has hurt a lot of people. And since then, over the course of the past few years — I think it was today or yesterday — he’s apologized. But he did damage, and I think it’s unfortunate. “
On November 23, the Washington Post ran an article detailing Jones’ track record of not hiring black coaches during his tenure as the Cowboys’ owner. Included in the story was the black and white photograph showing a young Jones watching the harassment of black students a few yards in front of him.
Speaking to reporters at the end of his post-game press conference on Wednesday, James said: “When I watch Kyrie talk and he’s like, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep that same energy when we’re talking about my people and the talk about things we’ve been through,” and this photo of Jerry Jones is one of those moments that our people, the black people, have been through in America. And I feel like a black man, a black athlete, someone with power and a Platform, if we’re doing something wrong or something that people don’t agree with, it’s on every single tabloid, every single piece of coverage, it’s in the bottom ticker, it’s asked about every single day.
“But it seems to me like the whole Jerry Jones situation, photo – and I know it’s been years and years and we all make mistakes, I get it – but it seems like it’s just been buried , like ‘Oh, it happened. OK, we’ll just keep going.’ And I was just kind of disappointed that I didn’t get that question from you guys.”
When asked about the 65-year-old photo, Jones told reporters last week he was merely there as a curious onlooker and had not discriminated against the black students.
“I didn’t realize at the time what a monumental event was really going on,” Jones said. “I’m sure glad we’re far from it. It’s me. That would remind me [to] Just keep doing what we can to keep things like this from happening.
James grew up in Akron, Ohio, about an hour from Cleveland, where the Browns played their NFL home games, but identified as a child as a Cowboys fan and, as an adult, stated that he only wanted to be associated with a winner, while he was going through a tough Scrabble upbringing. In October, in an Instagram Live appearance with longtime friend and business partner Maverick Carter to promote The Shop, who was working with Amazon to provide an alternative television show for Thursday Night Football, James explained why he had stopped to support the cowboys.
“I had to sit out the Cowboys, man,” James said when asked if he was still a Cowboys fan. “There was just a lot of things that happened when the guys were kneeling. The guys had freedom of speech and they wanted to do it in a very peaceful way. … The organization was like, ‘If you do this, you’ll never play for this franchise again. I just didn’t think it was appropriate.”
Jones said in 2017, when many NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem in a gesture of solidarity for then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest against police brutality, he would not “tolerate” that one his players “disregarded the flag”. “
https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/35153937/lebron-james-faults-media-not-asking-1957-jerry-jones-photo LeBron James faults media for not asking him about 1957 Jerry Jones photo