Dak Prescott Discusses LeBron’s Comments on Jerry Jones Photo
The Cowboys quarterback addressed James’s thoughts on the recently surfaced photo of the Dallas owner at a 1957 desegregation protest.
Since the picture of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones standing in a 1957 Arkansas desegregation protest surfaced ahead of Dallas’s game against the Giants on Thanksgiving, it has sparked conversation about Jones and his past.
Jones, an Arkansas native, was 14 years old when he was spotted in a photo that was taken on Sept. 9, 1957, at North Little Rock High that featured a group of white students blocking the door and yelling racial slurs at six Black students as they attempted to enter. While Jones said he had no intention of badgering any of the Black students and was attending the event out of curiosity, two high-profile athletes have weighed in on the resurfacing of the photo.
Following the Lakers’ 128–109 win against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, LeBron James questioned the media about why he not been ask questions about Jones in the same manner that he was about Kyrie Irving’s sharing of antisemitic propaganda.
“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,” James said . “And the Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people—Black people—have been through in America.
“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, on the bottom ticker, it’s asked about every single day. But it seems like to me 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, O.K. we just move on.’ And I’m kinda disappointed I haven’t received that question from you guys.”
On Thursday, James’s impassioned statement led to reporters asking Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott—who biracial and his father is Black—about his thoughts on the comments made by the Lakers star. Prescott said the publishing of the photo serves as a reminder that people “can be more empathetic” as well as the “times we’ve come from to where we are now.”
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“A guy who is completely biracial … it’s easy for me to speak on race on one side or the other ... I don’t know if I’ve fully processed [the photo] all the way, honestly,” Prescott said . “I think whether LeBron is talking about the picture … that’s on Jerry to address, right?
“I mean … it’s 65 years ago and how times have changed,” Prescott said. “Look at the man’s resume since then. ... As I said, give grace. I think that’s a conversation and a question not only for him but for you guys and how you feel on how accountable you’ve been in covering and discussing the disparities and differences in race.”
The two-time Pro Bowler also said his notion to provide grace stems from him “trying to make the world a better place.”
“That’s who I am at my core and all I believe in,” Prescott said. “Unfortunate things come up from the past … and they show how far we’ve come. … It wasn’t that long ago that we were all sitting in different sides and we weren’t together.
“But as I said, I wouldn’t be here if it was still that way, so I believe in grace and change.”
While the photo of Jones has stirred up dialogue, the Cowboys owner previously said in an interview with Dave Maraniss and Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post that he regretted not doing more to help the Black students feel inclusive.
“I’ve often asked: ‘Why didn’t you do more?” Jones said. “’Why didn’t you get up and have them come up on the bus and sit rather than standing back there? Why didn’t you do more?’”
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