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Does Anti-Blackness Carry Heavy Consequences? LeBron James Slams The Media For Failing To Question Him About Jerry Jones Photo

BuzzFeed
BuzzFeed
 2022-12-02

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The media has never been shy when it comes to pressing LeBron James about big news stories. And he's never been scared to speak his mind , either.

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Whether it be Black Lives Matter protests, elections , Colin Kaepernick , Trayvon Martin, Brittney Griner , or the World Cup ... the press typically wants LeBron's take on trending news.

Adam Pantozzi / NBAE via Getty Images

So that's why James found it strange that the press hasn't asked his opinion about the controversial photo of Jerry Jones that the Washington Post published recently.

Owner of @dallascowboys, Jerry Jones, addresses the 1957 photo showing him among a group of white students confronting Black students. Here’s what he had to say. https://t.co/vBC2tfPP3x

@AhrayaBurns 08:34 PM - 01 Dec 2022

In the photo, which was taken in September of 1957, a teenage Jones can be spotted among a group of white students who are bullying Black students at North Little Rock High School during one of the first instances of desegregation in the US.

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Once the photo started to circulate online, Jones was questioned about his actions during that time. He responded by saying , "That was 65 years ago, 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."

Tom Pennington / Getty Images

While it's important to note that everyone makes mistakes and this was nearly 70 years ago, there didn't seem to be noticeable contrition from Jones, nor did he offer a genuine apology.

This rubbed many in the Black community the wrong way, especially after the recent controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving. (Not to mention Jones' stance against kneeling during the National Anthem and the fact he has never hired a Black head coach ).

James, and countless other NBA players, were questioned endlessly when it came to Irving sharing an antisemitic documentary in October .

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The documentary, called Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America , questions the authenticity of the Holocaust, claims Jews are responsible for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and explores other falsities and antisemitic tropes.

Mike Stobe / Getty Images

James spoke out about his former teammate at the time, stating, "Me personally, I don't condone any hate to any kind. To any race. To Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand. I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. And he has since, over the last — I think it was today, or yesterday — he apologized. But he caused some harm, and I think it's unfortunate."

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San Francisco Chronicle / San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Irving was suspended for sharing the documentary and also refusing to give a transparent and detailed explanation for what made him share the documentary in the first place. During the fallout, Irving did vaguely express that he explored the doc in an effort to reconnect with his own Hebrew roots.

Irving was also presented a laundry list of demands by the NBA and the Brooklyn Nets to satisfy the suspension. Many athletes and commentators expressed how they felt the stipulations for Kyrie's return were excessive and perpetrated the act of " buck breaking ."

Kyrie Irving thoughts:I do NOT take the position that I speak for ALL black people. I speak for myself & my experiences.I come to the table with my sword down. I come to the table to engage in dialogue with empathy. We have to continue to EXCHANGE….

@RealJayWilliams 11:17 PM - 08 Nov 2022

Although Kyrie did apologize , companies like Nike put their relationship with him on pause.

While Kyrie was facing the repercussions of his actions, many in the Black community expressed how they hoped anti-Blackness would come with the same consequences as antisemitism. And this Jerry Jones situation may be proving that anti-Blackness doesn't come with any consequences at all. And LeBron made it a point to bring this up at a recent post-game interview.

After the Lakers defeated the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday, LeBron attended the post-game press forum as usual. After answering questions about the game, he flipped the script.

LeBron James wondered why he has not been asked about the 1957 photo of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that recently surfaced, after the media were quick to question him about Kyrie Irving.More: https://t.co/R6Ibn5p4LS

@espn 03:04 PM - 01 Dec 2022

"I got one question for you guys before you guys leave," he started . "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."

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"When I watch 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 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," he said. "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."

Jesse D. Garrabrant / NBAE via Getty Images

"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," James said.

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Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE via Getty Images

How do you feel about this entire situation? Let me know in the comment section below.

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