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Tipsheet

Is LeBron Really Going There With This Swipe at the Press?

J Pat Carter

LeBron James is not pleased with the sports media. After the recent drama with Nets’ Kyrie Irving, who landed in hot water over what very much looked like an endorsement of a viciously anti-Semitic documentary, there has been next to no backlash against Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones who was captured in a photo standing outside of North Little Rock High in Arkansas when six black students tried to enter. The future NFL owner said he wasn’t aware that history was unfolding when the photograph was taken, which was back in 1957. James alleged there was a double standard at play here (via NBC News):

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NBA legend LeBron James has called out reporters for what he described as a double standard in the way they cover Black athletes.

During a post-game press conference Wednesday following the Los Angeles Lakers game against the New Orleans Pelicans, he said his former teammate and Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving was subjected to increased scrutiny and coverage after he posted a link to an antisemitic film that led to his recent suspension without pay. The volume of coverage and criticism, James said, was unfair because Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, 80, has not experienced the same firestorm for a 1957 photo of him as a 15-year-old among a white mob preventing six Black students from entering a segregated high school in Arkansas.

The photo first came to light Nov. 23 when The Washington Post published it in an article detailing the backstory of the picture and how Jones’ great legacy may be tainted because he has yet to hire a Black NFL head coach. Previously, it was widely unknown that Jones was present at the protest.

“I was wondering why I haven’t gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo,” James said to the room of reporters. “But when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”

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There are these concepts of old and new, King James. The photo featuring a young Jerry Jones occurred 65 years ago. Nothing can be done about it, and schools aren’t segregated anymore. Antisemitism still exists, and one of the most prominent players for a major market franchise in the NBA recently decided to give a platform to it on his Twitter account. To make matters worse, he initially refused to apologize for it.  

 Now, if LeBron wanted to use the photo as part of the criticism lobbed at the Cowboys organization for its apparent refusal to look at black candidates for head coaching positions, that’s one thing. It’s still annoying, but James seems more perturbed that the media didn’t ask him about his opinion. I couldn’t care less about what LeBron thinks of Jerry Jones. Frankly, he needs to focus on winning games because the LA Lakers are again in the Western Conference's basement. James is a diva, and his opinions on these politically charged matters often fare as poorly as his team’s performance on the court.

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