NBA star LeBron James criticized media coverage of a photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that was taken during an integration effort in the civil rights era. He made the comments during a press conference on Wednesday.
His comments are about a published photo of Jones from 1957 outside North Little Rock High School as black students were being integrated into the school for the first time. Among the crowd pictured, some are attempting to block the new students from entering. Jones confirmed that the photo was authentic but told the outlet he was only present at the time because he was “curious,” not because he was protesting.
“I got one question for you guys before you guys leave. I was thinking when I was on my way over here, I was wondering why I haven’t gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo. But when the Kyrie [Irving] thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that,” James said to the crowd of reporters. He was referring to the antisemitic comments Irving made earlier this month for which he has since apologized.
“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,” James said. “But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, photo — and I know it was years and years ago, and we all make mistakes, I get it — but it seems like it’s just 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.”
The reporters in the room met James’s comment with silence before he got up to leave the conference.
James claimed in October not to be a Dallas Cowboys fan anymore over the team’s stance against kneeling during the national anthem.