As Lebron James spoke in a postgame press conference on Wednesday, he eloquently called out media for their double standards. During the Kyrie Irving antisemitism upheaval, James was constantly asked to weigh in with his thoughts.
However, now that a 1957 photo of Jerry Jones is circulating online showing him supporting segregation of a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, James pointed out that media has not asked him any questions about the situation.
He basically expressed that media is willing to exploit issues facing black communities and athletes and often pit them against each other. But when it comes to Jerry Jones, the scandal is being swept under the rug and no one has been interested in his thoughts.
Black athletes are often told to “stick to sports” when they willingly speak up about controversial or political topics of choice because it doesn’t fit into a narrative the public is ready to accept. As soon as video of James hit social media, the excuses and backlash started pouring in:
“Media asked Lebron about Kyrie because they are friends. He doesn’t know Jerry Jones.”
“Lebron plays in the NBA. We don’t want to hear his thoughts about the NFL.”
“Why would reporters ask you about an owner of a completely different sport?
Now suddenly he needs to only share an opinion about people he has a close relationship with or news that impacts the NBA. No one cared when James and other athletes were asked for their opinion about Black Lives Matter in an effort to trap them into making statements that could be used against them.
When athletes found a way to bring attention to social justice in a positive way by wearing t-shirts or developing an uplifting storyline, it was suddenly a problem.
Lebron James was right to call out media about their double standards. No one has asked him about Jerry Jones’ racism and how that affects his community or the sports world. No one has asked him to shed light on how Brett Favre stole millions from people in need. Are you noticing a theme?
It’s time for more athletes to take control and hold media as well as others accountable for exploiting the plight of black people.