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The Washington Post thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the holiday weekend with a hit piece on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones featuring a photo of him – aged 14 years old – standing in the crowd at a 1957 racial confrontation in North Little Rock, AR. There is no indication that Jones did anything wrong or actively participated in the event, where white people were trying to stop black students from attending the local high school.
Decades after standing on the frontlines of one of Little Rock’s darkest segregation clashes, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has led the league toward new revenue models but has yet to hire a Black head coach. https://t.co/cT2P0JHyGL
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 23, 2022
A few weeks after the above photo was taken, the higher profile “Little Rock Nine” integration effort took place at Little Rock Central High, resulting in President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatching federal troops to escort the black students past the protesters in what is regarded as a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement. The Post seems to imply that the fact that Jones lived in the area and appeared at a less-famous event means that he’s guilty by association with the racist agitators who harassed black students and used the N-word:
In a photograph taken at the scene, Jones could be seen standing a few yards from where the six Black students were being jostled and repelled with snarling racial slurs by ringleaders of the mob. At one point, a Black student named Richard Lindsey recalled, someone in the crowd put a hand on the back of his neck. A voice behind him said, “I want to see how a… [N-word] feels.” The ruffian hostility succeeded in turning away the would-be new enrollees.
Was it Jones who grabbed the black student? No. Did he jostle the black students or yell racial slurs? No. But in the Post’s world, a 14-year-old boy should have shut down the mob and put those racists in their places.
The bias and insinuation in the piece become apparent with the authors’ use of one word: Jones is part of a “confederacy of pro football plutocrats…” Confederacy? Really? I have never heard that word used in a column about sports before. Their choice is no accident and is meant to evoke images of slave-owning zealots and white-robed racists.
Why is it only certain people who face this kind of attack from the media? There are other things that have happened in the more recent past of other famous Americans:
Y’all crying about Jerry Jones but gave this clown a pass… pic.twitter.com/suds1HOmnM
— Black Thoughts (@byanymeans2022) November 25, 2022
Jones has an explanation for his presence at the high school 65 years ago: “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. He confessed that he wasn’t even supposed to be there, because his football coach had explicitly told his players to stay away from the school in case there was any trouble.
Jerry Jones on the photo from the Washington Post showing Jones at a protest of integrating schools in Arkansas pic.twitter.com/7XZLEFkchz
— Curtis Sheehan (@ChillinwitCurt) November 25, 2022
You may or not find his recollections convincing, but no one has alleged that Jones was active in the melee, and no one has claimed he attempted to stop any black students from entering the school.
When I was about 13 and living in New York City, there was a massive, 500,000-person-strong protest against nuclear weapons in Central Park and midtown Manhattan. My buddy and I were hardly the Greta Thunbergs of our time, but we knew we had to check out something that major. Maybe now, there’s a photo out there somewhere proving I was a committed anti-nukes protester, but it wouldn’t tell the full story.
The endless, 8,000-word piece is a test of endurance to get through and is mostly filled with insinuation and snark. The reporters dig into every moment of Jones’ background, even probing the lives of his father and grandfather. This is important because… why? The best they could come up with is that they found an envelope with a list of members of the “Capital Citizens’ Council,” an apparently racist group, with Jerry’s grandparents’ names on it. Even if true, what does that say about Jerry Jones? Not a darn thing.
ESPN’s Stephen A Smith was p***ed off by the hit piece, saying it was “pretty low”:
I’m very fond of Jerry Jones and he doesn’t deserve what just happened to him! pic.twitter.com/XgegwXI5Vh
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) November 25, 2022
The WaPo‘s character assassination of Jones is part of their “BLACK OUT” series, which is “examining the NFL’s decades-long failure to equitably promote Black coaches to top jobs despite the multibillion-dollar league being fueled by Black players.” The Post downplays the fact that half of the Cowboys’ coaching staff is black, and that the team sponsors programs to train minority coaches from high school on up. They also completely ignore the fact that Jones signed black quarterback Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million contract with $126 million guaranteed, making him one of the highest-paid QBs in the game.
The whole vibe of this article is that The Washington Post has a personal vendetta against Texas, Arkansas, and Jerry Jones, and their message about the employment prospects of black coaches is buried.
Why don’t people trust the media? Articles like this, which are little more than character assassination disguised as journalism.