Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones refuses to apologize for his presence in an recently resurfaced photo of a 14-year-old Jones in a crowd, consisting of white students, attempting to deny access to six Black students at North Little Rock High School.
The photo is 65 years old.
Jones said he was simply a curious kid.
“I didn’t know at the time the monumental event really that was going on. I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that. I am,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ 28-20 victory against the New York Giants on Thursday and one day after the Washington Post published on a story his lack impact on racial issues in the NFL, while using the photo as background into Jones’ mindset. “That reminds me just continue to do everything we can to not have those kinds of things happen.
‘That was curiously. I got criticized because I was more interested in how I was going to be punished my coaches and everybody for being out front, but nobody there had any idea frankly what was going to take place. We didn’t have all the last 70 years of reference and all the things that were going on and so you didn’t have a reference point there. Still, I’ve got a habit of sticking this nose in the right place at the wrong time.”
Jones said he got punished by his football coach for being at the protest after being told to stay away.
“Well, I was a young sophomore trying to make the team and they kicked my ass,” Jones said.
Jones said he didn’t fully understand the issues of the day but does know the presence of his his classmates didn’t represent a welcoming committee.
“That was 65 years ago, and I had no idea when I walked up there what we were doing. It just is a reminder to me of how to improve and do things the right way,” Jones said.
But those kids were just trying to go to school?
“Yeah, you want to ask me what I was thinking? I was thinking I’m going to get in trouble for being up here, and I didn’t know what was going on,” Jones said. “I was 15 years old and so having said that, that’s all that I can remember.”