A photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones standing among a mob of white students that blocked a desegregation effort at his North Little Rock high school has spread across the internet like wildfire in recent days.
No surprise, the photo, which was taken in 1957, has sparked a lot of hot takes and debate. NBA superstar LeBron James even weighed in.
Thursday, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had a more measured response when asked about the photo.
According to Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports, Prescott, who is biracial, acknowledged that he didn't have any answers about the photo since he wasn't present at the scene. He did offer some support for Jones, though, saying "look at the man's resume since then."
"Obviously we can be more empathetic and give grace to one another, regardless of race," Prescott said. "From the time we've come from to where we are now, thinking about the growth that we've had. That's who I am, how I think, optimistic. I mean, a guy who is completely biracial, Black and white, it's easy for me to speak on race on one side or another. And I don't always — hmm, how do I say this — I don't know if I've fully processed it all the way, honestly. I think where LeBron's talking to the picture, that's on Jerry to address. In the same sense, it's 65 years ago, and how times have changed. I mean, look at the man's resume since then, right? As I said, I give grace. I think that's a conversation and question not only for him but for you guys and how y'all feel and how accountable y'all have been in covering and discussing the disparities and differences in resume.
"As I said, I'm here for growth and giving grace and trying to make this world a better place. That's who I am at my core and what I believe in. Unfortunate things come up from the past, pictures, and they show how far we've come, but at the same sense, they're a reminder of how short of a time that was ago. That wasn't that long ago that we were all sitting on different sides, and we weren't together. But a 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."
Jones has spent quite a bit of time addressing the photo, which resurfaced as the center of a lengthy Washington Post story about Jones and his efforts, or lack thereof, to promote racial equality.
According to the story, Jones sat with the Post for more than two hours. He also spoke to reporters in Dallas on Nov. 23 about the incident and how he's tried to grow since. He's claimed that he was present at the scene due to curiosity rather than trying to participate in the protest.
While Jones has taken some heat for never hiring a Black head coach since he bought the Cowboys in 1989, Prescott clearly believes he's made an effort to promote racial equity in his larger-than-life role. Jones did notably take a knee on the AT&T Stadium field with his players prior to the national anthem in 2017 as players around the league were catching flak for kneeling during the anthem.
Ultimately, Prescott preaches a message of grace, which, as usual, seems to be lacking in the discourse surrounding the Jones photo. Plenty have vilified the Cowboy owner, while others have fired back at their criticism with equal venom.