Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James questioned the media on Wednesday for not asking him about a resurfaced 1957 photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones standing in a crowd blocking Black students from entering an Arkansas high school, suggesting there was a double standard at work.
The image, which the Washington Post published in a report last month, shows a then-teenage Jones standing in the crowd near the group of Black students, who were attempting to integrate North Little Rock High School.
Speaking to reporters after the Lakers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 128-109 on Wednesday night, James said he saw a double standard in how the media covered controversies involving white versus Black public figures.
“I was wondering why I haven’t gotten a question from you guys abut the Jerry Jones photo,” James, an 18-time National Basketball Association All-Star said. “But when the Kyrie (Irving) thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”
Irving, a seven-times All-Star guard for the Brooklyn Nets, recently returned to the court after a team-imposed, eight-game suspension for sharing anti-Semitic content on social media.
The incident prompted widespread media coverage and Irving apologized, saying he is not anti-Semitic.
“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,” said James.
“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 just been buried.”
Jones addressed the photo controversy after his team defeated the New York Giants on Thanksgiving Day last Thursday.
“That was 65 years ago,” he told reporters. “I had no idea when I walked up there what I was doing, just a reminder to me how to improve and do things the right way.”
The Dallas Cowboys did not immediately respond to a request for a response to James’ comments.