LeBron James 'Disappointed' with Reporters for Asking Him About Kyrie Irving but Not Jerry Jones

LeBronJames, Jerry Jones
LeBronJames, Jerry Jones

Daniel Boczarski/Getty; Rob Carr/Getty

LeBron James is calling out reporters for questioning him about Kyrie Irving's controversial comments, but staying silent about a photo that surfaced of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones during the Little Rock Nine protests.

In a post-game press conference Wednesday night, the 37-year-old NBA superstar, who has been increasingly vocal in recent years regarding racial inequity, spoke out about a seeming double standard regarding two recent sports-world controversies.

"I was wondering why I haven't gotten a question from you guys about the Jerry Jones photo," James said. "But when the Kyrie [Irving] thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that."

The Los Angeles Lakers forward was referring to last week's Washington Post story which included a photo of a then-teenage Jones near the entrance to his school in North Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957, alongside a group of white students who blocked the path of six Black students as they tried to enter in the early days of integration.

James linked the media's coverage of the Jones photo to the collective response following Irving's controversy, in which the NBA player was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for five games without pay after he promoted the antisemetic 2018 movie Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America.

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"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 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."

RELATED: LeBron James Says Kyrie Irving Should Play Again, NBA Commissioner Says Irving 'Isn't Antisemitic'

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."

James did not take questions from reporters after making his statement.

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Last week, Jones told the Post that his presence on the steps of a school "was more a curious thing," even though his football coach at the time told players that he "didn't want to see any of you knot-heads near the front of that school tomorrow."

Arkansas Desegregation, jerry jones
Arkansas Desegregation, jerry jones

AP Photo/William P. Straeter

"I don't know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing … what was involved. It was more a curious thing," he said.

The Dallas Cowboys owner later further elaborated to reporters about the photo, following the team's Thanksgiving Day game against the New York Giants.

RELATED: LeBron James Says He's No Longer a Cowboys Fan After Team Attitude on Kneeling Protests

"Nobody there had any idea, frankly, what was going to take place," he said. "You didn't, we didn't have all the last 70 years of reference and all the things that were going. You didn't have a reference point there, but still, I've got a habit of sticking this nose, right place at the wrong time."

For James, he previously said that being a Cowboys fan is no longer the right call.

In October, the future Hall of Famer was asked by his friend and business partner Maverick Carter during an announcement of their new Thursday Night Football stream on Instagram Live whether he "was still a Cowboys fan."

The star responded that he "had to sit out" on his once-favorite team due to the organization's response to players protesting on the field during the national anthem, which was aimed at calling out racism and police brutality.

"It was just a lot of things that [were] going on when guys were kneeling, and freedom of speech and wanting to do it in a very peaceful manner." James said. "... The organization was like 'if you do that around here then you won't ever play for this franchise again,' and I just didn't think that was appropriate."