LeBron James ‘disappointed’ in media’s silence on Jerry Jones photo

Race in America

LeBron James in a game against the Indiana Pacers on Monday Nov. 28 (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — LeBron James questioned a call during a postgame news conference Wednesday, but it had nothing to do with a referee’s whistle.

In the postgame news conference following the Lakers’ 128-109 dismantling of the Portland Trail Blazers in Los Angeles, the Lakers star turned the tables on reporters, asking why he had received no questions about a controversial 1957 photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, given the media response that followed Brooklyn Net Kyrie Irving’s recent controversy.

In the recently surfaced photo, Jones appears among a group of white teenagers at North Little Rock High School in Arkansas, obstructing the path of six Black students who were attempting to desegregate the school. The image, captured by The Associated Press, focuses on three white students blocking the school’s door, with Jones appearing toward the back of the crowd. The incident took place just weeks before the historic Little Rock Nine walk. 

After answering questions about the Lakers’ win, James called out reporters for their lack of inquiries regarding the photograph, despite the very different response after his former teammate Kyrie Irving made headlines with a controversial tweet and subsequent comments that drew charges of antisemitism. 

“I got one question for you guys before you guys leave,” James said. “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 thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”

Irving came under fire in late October for a tweet that linked to a movie called “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.” Irving was accused of promoting antisemitism and was soon suspended from the Brooklyn Nets and dropped by Nike after defending his right to express his beliefs. As controversy continues to swirl around Irving, James took the opportunity to point out that Jones hasn’t received the same treatment. 

“When I watched Kyrie 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 they’ve been through,’ and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America,” James said. “And I feel like as a Black man, as a Black athlete, someone with power and with 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.”

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