Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pictured among segregationists as a teen

NFL owner admits that he was the teenager photographed in the 1957 photo
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pictured among segregationists as a teen
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones (Image source: YouTube/Black and White Sports)

Jerry Jones, the flamboyant owner of the marquee franchise Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, was once in the crowd of White racist segregationists who prevented Black students from integrating their high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

Jones, who was 14 years old at the time that the photograph was taken, is now 80. Jones appeared to be an onlooker as the group of Black students, known as the North Little Rock Six, unsuccessfully tried to integrate North Little Rock High School. 

That event occurred just a few weeks before the legendary Little Rock Nine integrated Little Rock Central High School less than five miles away. The second try was a success and turned out to be one of the flashpoint moments of the earlier part of the Civil Rights Movement. 

Jones admitted to the Washington Post that the boy highlighted in the photo is him. He said that he was only in attendance out of curiosity about the uproar that was taking place at his high school.

“I don’t know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing … what was involved. It was more a curious thing.”

The Post unearthed the nearly 70-year-old photo as part of a larger story on Jones, who has not hired a Black head coach in the 33 years since buying the franchise for $150 million in 1989. The team’s current valuation is over $8 billion, making it the most valuable franchise in American sports.

Furthermore, some of Jones’ stances in the modern era have also been problematic to many African Americans. For example, Jones told the media in 2017 that any player who kneels before the flag cannot play for him. This was in the aftermath of the national uproar that Colin Kaepernick created when he knelt during the national anthem in 2016.

Not surprisingly, the photo of a teenage Jones standing amid a hostile crowd of segregationists — who were obviously bullying the Black students to dissuade them from entering the school — has sparked a lot of conversations and debates.

In addition to the Twitter chatter, there are contentious conversations being had on Black podcasts with one show’s stance on the issue in stark contrast to the other. Listen in:

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