Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has weighed in on a picture shared last week of owner Jerry Jones attending a desegregation protest in 1957, saying ‘we can be more empathetic and give grace to one another, regardless of race.’
The 29-year-old’s comments come after Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James resurfaced the controversy around the photograph, accusing media outlets of a racist double standard after the Lakers’ 128-109 win over the Trail Blazers.
In the 65-year-old picture, Jones, who was 14 at the time, is seen among white students at Arkansas’ North Little Rock High as they blocked six African American teens from entering and integrating the school. Jones has acknowledged to the Washington Post that it is, indeed, him in the photograph, although he claims he was there out of curiosity and not any racist intent.
‘Obviously we can be more empathetic and give grace to one another, regardless of race, from the times we’ve come from to where we are now, thinking about the growth we’ve had,’ Prescott told Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports. ‘That’s who I am, how I think, optimistic, I mean, a guy who is completely biracial, Black and white, it’s easy for me to speak on race on one side or another.’
‘And I don’t always, how do I say this? I don’t know if I’ve fully processed it all the way, honestly. I think whether LeBron’s talking to the picture, that’s on Jerry to address. In the same sense, it’s 65 years ago and how times have changed. I mean look at the man’s resume since then, right? As I said, I give grace.’
‘I think that’s a conversation and question not only for him but for you guys and how y’all feel and how accountable y’all have been in covering and discussing the disparities and differences in resume.’
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was pictured among a crowd of white students blocking the doors of North Little Rock High School, denying access to six African American students enrolled in the school in 1957. The billionaire and NFL owner, who was 14 years old at the time, said of the photograph: ‘I didn’t know at the time the monumental event that was going on’ and that he was just being a ‘curious kid’
Jones has confirmed that it is, indeed, him in the controversial photograph, although he denies having any racist intent at the time
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott said ‘we can be more empathetic and give grace to one another’ in reaction to the 65-year-old picture of Jones
Prescott then stressed that he’s ‘here for growth and giving grace and trying to make this world a better place.’
‘That’s who I am at my core and what I believe in,’ he added. ‘Unfortunately, things come up from the past, pictures, and they show how far we’ve come, but at the same sense, they’re a reminder of how short of a time that was ago. That wasn’t that long ago that we were all sitting on different sides, and we weren’t together. But as I said, I wouldn’t be here if it were still that way. So, I believe in grace and change. Those are questions for Jerry for you all, honestly, that I don’t have quite the answers for.’
James inquired why he hadn’t been asked about Jones, despite fielding questions for much of November about Nets star and former teammate Kyrie Irving being accused of antisemitism after sharing a link to the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America’ on Amazon.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James asked reporters why he hadn’t been asked about Jones at a press conference on Wednesday night , despite fielding questions for much of November about Nets star and former teammate Kyrie Irving being accused of antisemitism
Irving found himself in hot water after promoting the 2018 film ‘Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America’ on social media with a link to its Amazon page
The Nets point guard returned to basketball action on November 20th after the NBA handed him an eight-game suspension for his refusal to apologize for his actions and for failure to disavow antisemitism
The movie is based on a 2015 book by the same title, which Rolling Stone described as ‘venomously anti-Semitic.’ Specifically, it quotes Hitler to convince the audience about the existence of a Jewish plan for world domination.
The Nets star has recently returned to basketball action following an eight-game suspension after apologizing and meeting several other requirements put forth by the team, including a request to meet with Jewish leaders. Irving and James won an NBA ring together in 2016.
‘I got one question for you guys before you guys leave,’ James told reporters. ‘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 desegregation demonstration that Jones is seen attending at North Little Rock High in 1957 happened shortly after nine teens, famously known as the Little Rock Nine, became the first African American students to be enrolled in Little Rock’s Central High School.
North Little Rock High School, where Jones was pictured as a student in 1957, didn’t include children from minority backgrounds in its classes until 1964
The Little Rock Crisis soon followed, preventing the students from being enrolled in the racially segregated school by Orval Faubus, then-Governor of Arkansas. Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower had to intervene to confirm the nine children’s enrollment.
North Little Rock, where Jones was enrolled, didn’t integrate children from minority backgrounds until 1964.
‘That was, gosh, 65 years ago, and curious kid, I didn’t know at the time the monumental event that was going on,’ Jones said last week of the controversy around the 1967 picture.
‘I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that. I am. That would remind me: just continue to do everything we can to not have those kinds of things happen.’
The Cowboys are currently second in the NFC East with an 8-3 overall record and six games to go before the NFL playoffs. The team trail the 10-1 Philadelphia Eagles in league standings and face the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
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