Lakers’ LeBron James Compares Nets’ Kyrie Irving, Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones

LeBron James Kyrie Irving

Getty Kyrie Irving guards LeBron James.

The Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James called out the news media on November 30 for what he perceived as their unequal treatment of recent controversies surrounding Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

“I got one question for you guys before you guys leave,” James asked reporters at his postgame press conference after the Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Portland Trail Blazers. “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.”

The Washington Post had published a story on November 23 about Jones that included a 1957 photo of him as one of several teenagers at North Little Rock (Arkansas) High School watching white classmates denying access to six Black students who’d enrolled in the former whites-only institution. The “Kryie thing” refers to Irving’s October tweet promoting a 2018 film featuring antisemitic tropes. The backlash led to Irving’s eight-game suspension and a ripple effect throughout the NBA.

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LeBron ‘Disappointed’ in Difference Handling Kyrie, Jones

James did note that 65 years had elapsed since the 1957 photograph, taken when Jones was a 14-year-old in the South before the Civil Rights era, but said he was still “disappointed” in the media’s handling of the two situations.

“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 added.

LeBron James sends message to Kyrie Irving about Jerry Jones photo from a black man's point of viewLeBron James sends message to Kyrie Irving about Jerry Jones photo from a black man's point of view2022-12-01T06:49:34Z

“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.”

LeBron Explains Why He Is No Longer Cowboys Fan

It was not the first time that James has been critical of Jones. James, who in the past had said he grew up a Cowboys fan, said he renounced his allegiance to the storied franchise after Jones said in 2017 that if any of his players were to kneel during the national anthem, they wouldn’t be allowed to play.

“I had to sit out on the Cowboys, man,” James said on Instagram Live, per an October 28 tweet from Dov Kleiman. “There’s just a lot of things that were going on when guys were kneeling. Guys were having freedom of speech and wanting to do it in a very peaceful manner. The organization was like, ‘If you do that around here, then you will never play for this franchise again.’ I just didn’t think that was appropriate.”


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