After the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday (November 30), LeBron James took the opportunity to express his disappointment with how the media has handled Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' recent controversy versus Kyrie Irving's drama earlier this year.
In his post-game press conference, the Lakers' forward asked the media why no one had asked him questions about the recently unearthed photo of Jones from 1957 that shows him standing with white students who were attempting to keep an Arkansas school segregated, but were so "quick to ask" questions about the Irving controversy earlier this year.
"I got one question for you guys before you guys leave. 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," James asked reporters, per TMZ. "But when the Kyrie [Irving] thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that."
Last week, the Washington Post published a story about Jones' history of failing to hire Black coaches during his tenure owning the Cowboys. The article included a photo showing Jones standing with a group of white students attempting to prevent six Black students from entering North Little Rock High School. While Jones has since acknowledged that it is him in the photograph, he claims he didn't participate in protesting the integration and instead was only a "curious" bystander.
"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," James added in the Wednesday press conference. "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."
He continued, "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."
Irving came under fire earlier this month after he shared a link to an antisemitic film on social media. In the days following, the basketball star refused to apologize and was ultimately suspended from the Brooklyn Nets for eight games. James previously said his former Cavaliers teammate "caused some harm to a lot of people" but noted Irving's punishment was excessive.
Jones, meanwhile, has avoided any punishment from the NFL. When asked about the 1957 photo, the 80-year-old business told the Washington Post he was merely "curious" about the situation, which is why he was present, adding, "I don't know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing... what was involved."