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1 Dec, 2022 14:46

NBA star James suggests double-standards in anti-Semitism row (VIDEO)

LeBron James has questioned the media reporting surrounding fellow basketball star Kyrie Irving
NBA star James suggests double-standards in anti-Semitism row (VIDEO)

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has asked the media why it continues to question him over the recent anti-Semitism scandal involving fellow NBA star Kyrie Irving, and not about an historical image which recently appeared online featuring Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Jones, the billionaire who has owned the NFL’s Cowboys since 1989, was featured in a 1957 photograph unearthed by the Washington Post which shows the then-teenager standing in a crowd and watching a group of white youths blocking black students from entering an Arkansas high school during the desegregation of schools in various parts of the United States. 

Irving, meanwhile, recently took flak for promoting a movie on his social media platforms which was condemned for being anti-Semitic – for which he was suspended by his team, the Brooklyn Nets, and later issued an apology.

Speaking to the media this week, James took them task for what he appeared to suggest were double-standards.

I got one question for you guys before you guys leave. 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,” James said following his side's win against the Portland Trail Blazers.

But when the Kyrie [Irving] thing was going on, you guys were quick to ask us questions about that.”

This follows a line of questioning put forth by various media members last month why so few basketball players had condemned Irving throughout the scandal, especially when he had initially refused to offer the apology which was eventually forthcoming. 

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 elaborated.

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.

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.

Jones, meanwhile, said of the 65-year-old photograph this week that he wasn’t engaging in any racial discrimination against black students at the time, and was merely there to witness the scene as a curious onlooker. 

James was formerly a fan of the Dallas Cowboys but said earlier this year that he had withdrawn his support of the NFL franchise following comments made by Jones regarding the spate of ‘kneeling’ protests which took place in various sports throughout the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.