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Jerry Jones provides weak explanation for photo of him blocking black students from entering high school 

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pictured at North Little Rock High in 1957
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones pictured at North Little Rock High in 1957

Jerry Jones has been in the spotlight a lot since becoming the owner of the Dallas Cowboys in 1989. Jones is currently in the spotlight for something that took place long before his tenure as Cowboys owner. A recent photo of the Cowboys owner was unearthed when he was 15 years old at North Little Rock High in Little Rock, Arkansas. During that photo, North Little Rock students tried to stop Black students from entering the school.

When asked to discuss his presence in that photo, he said it was “curiosity”, as opposed to belief in any cause, that drew him to the incident. This incident essentially postponed desegregation at the school by a decade. Jones said:

“That was, gosh, 65 years ago and curious kid, I didn’t know at the time the monumental event that was going on. I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that... That would remind me: 'Just continue to do everything we can to not have those kind of things happen.'”
Jerry Jones on photo of him standing at North Little Rock HS in 1957 when Black students attempted to desegregate the school: “That was 65 years ago. I had no idea when I walked up what we were doing. It's just a reminder to me of how to improve and do things the right way.”

On Sept. 9, 1957, six Black students were to attend classes at North Little Rock High School. This was five days after the well-known 'Little Rock Nine' occurrence. Then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent federal troops to safely deliver nine black students to Arkansas’ Little Rock Central High. Jones’ high school was about four miles away.

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Jones declined to authenticate that he felt sorry for attending the protest, highlighting what the teenage Jerry Jones was instead most concerned about. He was concerned whether he’d get in trouble with his football coach, who had informed players to stay away from the demonstration.

However, many called into question Jerry Jones' hiring practices in terms of hiring minorities after the photo was released.

How many black coaches has Jerry Jones hired?

An extensive article by the Washington Post delved into the hiring practices of the Dallas Cowboys under Jones. Jerry Jones has never hired a black head coach, and he has had on the payroll a limited number of minority coordinators. He was asked by The Post if he has that “singular ability” to impact change in hiring more black coaches. Jones said:

“I do. What I’m saying is, I understand that.”
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In the same interview, the owner also seemed to acknowledge the fundamental reality of the hiring process in the NFL. Jones added:

“It’s not the X’s and O’s,” “It’s not the Jimmys and Joes. It’s who you know.”
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In 2003, Jerry Jones was intent on hiring former New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells as Cowboys head coach. Jones apparently regarded the Rooney Rule as a box to be checked. He interviewed former Minnesota Vikings head coach Dennis Green by telephone. This, in turn, compelled the NFL to modify the Rooney Rule to have in-person interviews.


If you use any of the above quotes, please credit the Washington Post and H/T Sportskeeda.

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Edited by John Maxwell
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