And the reactions online are all over the place, from questioning whether the move is genuine to applauding James’ most recent comments. Others say the focus isn’t Bron at all but the bigger conversation about coverage of Black people during the public controversy and the harsher consequences imposed on ‘canceled‘ Black people.
During a press conference on Wednesday, the athlete flipped roles with reporters and put them on the spot. To James, the media kept striking the Irving iron while it was hot and lukewarm–flooding interviews with Kyrie questions. But LeBron says reporters haven’t kept the same energy when it comes to Jerry Jones.
“I was wondering why I haven’t gotten any questions from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo, but when the Kyrie thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that,” LeBron said.
Someone off-camera tried to interject, but LeBron cut them off. He rejected the need for a response before finishing his point.
“When I watched Kyrie talk, and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I wanna keep the same energy when we’re talking about my people and the things we’ve been through. And that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America,” Lebron said.
He continued, saying it’s his responsibility as a “Black man, Black athlete” and someone “with power and a platform” to speak on the topic.
“When we do something wrong or something people don’t agree with, it’s one every single tabloid, every single news coverage, it’s on the bottom ticker, it’s asked about every single day,” James said.
James said he understood the photo is old–65 years, to be exact–and that people make mistakes. But still, he says the story seems buried.
“…it seems like it’s just been buried under ‘oh, it happened, okay, we just move on, and I was just kinda disappointed that I haven’t received that question from you guys,” LeBron said.
View this post on Instagram
Social Media On LeBron Addressing Jones Photo
Scroll to see a series of reactions to LeBron’s call-out–then continue scrolling for more about the Jerry Jones photo and LeBron’s previous comments about Kyrie.
I also see a lot of people saying that LeBron threw Kyrie under the bus, and he’s now saving face.
I disagree. In my opinion, LBJ was denouncing hate of any kind — and as Kyrie also apologized— that’s it.
The larger point is as a whole is the double standard for Black people.
— Dr. Wes Bellamy (@DrWesBellamy) December 2, 2022
For all those who are saying it doesn’t make sense for the media to ask LeBron about this, keep in mind he grew up as a Cowboys fan and recently said he no longer supports the Cowboys because of Jerry Jones’ response to Colin Kaepernick’s protest. LeBron is spot on. https://t.co/t8rEEMfgc7
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 1, 2022
The Jerry Jones photo has been out for a week plus and skip and Shannon talk about the cowboys 3 hours a day .. they had time to discuss Jerry Jones like they did kyrie . Now as soon as lebron James takes a stand it’s “ I wish we had the show today “ lmao cmon pic.twitter.com/aSbGZAnOTN
— John (@iam_johnw) December 1, 2022
We can all go back & forth about what lebron said or what jerry jones did or why he should or shouldn’t be asked the question. but no amount of debate/disagreement there changes his POINT – which is that race issues are framed differently according to the color of the individual
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) December 1, 2022
I’m not sure why Lebron would expect someone to ask him about Jerry Jones. I just don’t get the correlation.
What football players were they asking when the Clippers owner got caught being racist on tape?
Like why would a reporter think to do that? I don’t get it.
— 🍢WedgeBuster🍢 (@WedgeBuster88) December 1, 2022
Yep…great position LeBron…don’t just shut and dribble…call out the media for their inherent bias against Black Athletes…did Brady or Roger’s or any wyt QBs get asked about Farve or Jones…no because they are wyt men…period! https://t.co/IUO5uj6xbo
— From The Windy City (@ChewsViews) December 1, 2022
I don’t like Lebron. But he wasn’t condemning JJ either. He was just wondering why they were more concerned with Kyrie than JJ. and it’s a valid question. Sharing a video link vs being on the white side of the Little Rock 9 is… not the same.
— mile.high ➐ (@HailState_CO) December 2, 2022
LeBron came out immediately with his opinions on Kap. questions followed
This Jerry Jones pic dropped 7-8 days ago. You know 90% of the time whenever he tweets it’s shown everywhere & questions follow. He been silent on this too. Maybe the news got lost bcuz of Thanksgiving week
— Ray (@R84rd) December 1, 2022
The Jerry Jones Photo Story Seems “Buried,” James Says
A close up of the North Little Rock High School photo. Jerry Jones is in a horizontal striped shirt, to the right of the raised camera. Photograph: William P Straeter/AP pic.twitter.com/nIzbHHk84H
— Mane Quest Gaming (@manequestgaming) December 2, 2022
Last week, The Washington Post published an extensive look at Jones’ decades-long impact on the NFL’s future–despite never hiring a Black head coach.
WP discovered an image of 14-year-old Jones standing in a crowd of white students who were terrorizing Black students in September 1957 during a high school that was undergoing integration. Jones claims he was there to watch and did not harass or hurl racist insults–like his classmates.
“I don’t know that I or anybody participated or had a background of knowing…what was involved. It was more of a curious thing,” Jones said.
Despite the photo and WP’s reporting, the news hardly sent the waves Kyrie’s tweet did. It was published on November 23 but had no effects on the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving win or Jones’ public peace. By Monday, the world had seemingly moved on.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Got A List Of Public Demands
In early November, Irving issued a public apology for sharing a link to an Anti-Semitic film. His initial refusal to denounce the film’s views brought on a media frenzy. A series of media appearances didn’t improve the headlines. At one session, he said he “didn’t [mean] to cause any harm,” but he’s not the “one that made the documentary.”
Soon after, the Brooklyn Nets suspended Irving without pay for five games and then there was the list.
Sources: Nets have delivered Kyrie Irving six items he must complete to return to team:
– Apologize/condemn movie
– $500K donation to anti-hate causes
– Sensitivity training
– Antisemitic training
– Meet with ADL, Jewish leaders
– Meet with Joe Tsai to demonstrate understanding
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) November 6, 2022
Hours after the suspension news broke, Kyrie issued a lengthy apology to Jewish families and those affected by his tweet.
“I want to clarify any confusion on where I stand fighting against antisemitism by apologizing for posting the documentary without context and a factual explanation outlining the specific beliefs in the Documentary I agreed with and disagreed with,” Kyrie said. “I had no intentions to disrespect any Jewish cultural history regarding the Holocaust or perpetuate any hate. I am learning from this unfortunate event and hope we can find understanding between us all. I am no different than any other human being. I am a seeker of truth and knowledge, and I know who I am.”
On November 5, James distanced himself from hate and agreed that Irving caused harm with his tweet.
“Me personally, I don’t condone any hate to any kind, To any race. To my Jewish communities, to Black communities, to Asian communities. You guys know where I stand,” LeBron said at the time. “I believe what Kyrie did cause some harm to a lot of people. And he caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate.”
Kyrie Irving has not responded to James’ press comments.