Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott responded Thursday to recent remarks from LeBron James about a new revelation that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was present during a racially charged, historic 1957 confrontation between white students and black high school students.
James, the Los Angeles Lakers forward and NBA superstar, chided reporters at a press conference for quizzing him about a recent anti-Semitic scandal involving a former teammate, but not seeking his opinion on Jones. The Washington Post last week revealed that Jones, as a 14-year-old Arkansas schoolboy 65 years ago, was present when a throng of white students tried to block black kids from integrating into their school.
Asked about James’ remarks, Prescott gracefully declined to pile on the owner of the team for which he plays.
“Obviously we can be more empathetic and give grace to one another, regardless of race, from the times we’ve come from to where we are now, thinking about the growth we’ve had,” said Prescott, who grew up in Louisiana and played college football at Mississippi State.
Prescott noted that his mother, who died when Prescott was in college, was white and his father is black, giving him a unique perspective on race relations in America.
“That’s who I am, how I think – optimistic,” he said. “I mean [as] a guy who is completely biracial, black and white, it’s easy for me to speak on race on one side or another,” Prescott said.
The jarring photo unearthed by The Washington Post is “on Jerry to address,” Prescott said. But he said what Jones has done since the photo was taken more than half a century ago is important context.
“In the same sense, it’s 65 years ago and how times have changed,” Prescott said. “I mean, look at the man’s resumé since then, right? As I said, I give grace.”
“I’m here for growth and giving grace and trying to make this world a better place,” he continued. “That’s who I am at my core and what I believe in. Unfortunate things come up from the past, pictures, and they show har far we’ve come, but at the same sense, they’re a reminder of how short of a time that was ago.”
Prescott said he prefers to focus on the progress made since the time of the black and white photo, and again declined to speak for or condemn Jones.
“That wasn’t that long ago that we were all sitting on different sides, and we weren’t together,” Prescott said. “But as I said, I wouldn’t be here if it were still that way. So I believe in grace and change. Those are questions for Jerry, for y’all, honestly, that I don’t have quite the answers for.”
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was asked today about 1957 Little Rock photo of Jerry Jones, which LeBron James has also discussed.
"I’m here for growth and giving grace and trying to make this world a better place," Dak said.
His full response: pic.twitter.com/BAzSNC787k
— Jori Epstein (@JoriEpstein) December 1, 2022