Basketball superstar LeBron James is calling out the media for a double standard.
During a post-game press conference on Nov. 30, James questioned the amassed media why they failed to ask his opinion about an old photo of Dallas Cowboys football team owner Jerry Jones that has resurfaced and shows the white billionaire as a teenager blocking Blacks from entering an Arkansas school in 1957, Sports Illustrated reported.
James wondered out loud why, when there were accusations about fellow National Basketball Association player Kyrie Irving being antisemitic, he was peppered with questions about his opinion. But James noted he has yet to be asked what he thought of the Jones picture.
The Brooklyn Nets recently suspended Irving of the Brooklyn Nets for several games after sharing a link to a movie that many believed included antisemitic tropes. Irving later apologized and was given a list of rules by the team that he must abide by.
The Jones photograph recently resurfaced of a high school-aged Jones participating in a protest against Black students entering his Little Rock High School.
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The photo, taken by a photographer from the Associated Press, is from Sept. 9, 1957, when Jones and a mob of other white teenagers confronted a group of Black students outside the school’s doors. Shortly after the photo was taken, the Black students were forcefully pushed back down the stairs to the street, and their efforts to integrate the school were stopped for the time being, The Washington Post reported.
James wanted to know why he was not asked about the photo of a sports figure participating in a racist act.
“I was wondering why I haven’t gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo, but when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to access questions about that,” James said.
He continued that the media doesn’t give as much weight to Black pain as it does to white pain, “When I watched Kryrie 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.”
James also added that Black celebrities are aggressively confronted when they have a misstep.
“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 every tabloid; every news coverage is on..the bottom ticker is it’s asked about every single day,” he noted. “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. They seem like it’s just been buried under like, oh, it happened. Okay. We just we just move on. And I was just kind of disappointed. I haven’t received that question from you guys. Appreciate it.”
Photos: Jerry Jones (circled, left), is pictured among a group of white students at North Little Rock High School, Arkansas, blocking access to six African-American students, Sept. 9, 1957. (AP Photo/William P. Straeter) / LeBron James post-game press conference, Nov. 30, 2022, NBA.com, screenshot, https://www.nba.com/lakers/videos/postgame-interview-lebron-james-11-30-22