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Black student in 1957 photo with Jerry Jones outside segregated school says he 'forgives him'

One of six black students who were photographed confronted by a white mob outside a segregated high school in 1957 says he has forgiven Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for joining the group.

“If he had any animosity, I don’t know, but I have forgiven him for whatever reason he was there,” Harold Jean Smith said. NBC DFW on Friday, noting: “You don’t judge people by the past.”

Smith was just 17 years old in September 1957, when he was photographed wearing a plaid long-sleeved shirt as a group of white students prevented him and other African-American teenagers from entering Arkansas’ North Little Rock High School.

Jones admitted last week that he was photographed in the crowd, but said he only joined the confrontation because he was curious about what was happening as civil rights clashes raged across the South, not because he harbored any feelings. racists.

The explanation sounds plausible to Smith, who is now 82 years old.

“I can believe that, that I was just curious,” Smith said, adding: “I just saw it as the past.” That was in the past.

“You don’t judge people by the past,” he continued. You judge them by the future.

Harold Jean Smith, 82, said he forgives Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for joining a group that stopped Smith and five other black teens from desegregating a school in North Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

1669579810 381 Black Student In 1957 Photo With Jerry Jones Outside Segregated

Jones admitted last week that he was photographed in the crowd, but said he only joined the confrontation because he was curious what was going on. Smith appears bottom right wearing a long-sleeved flannel shirt.

Jones was 15 years old at the time and said his football coach, Jim Albright, had warned the players to avoid the highly anticipated scene on the first day of school, but he disobeyed.

told the Washington Post I was just curious what was going on.

“I don’t know if I or anyone anticipated or had a history of knowing… what was involved,” he said. It was rather a curious thing.

But not all of them were standing at the entrance to North Little Rock High out of curiosity.

As one black student, Richard Lindsey, explained, a white student put his hand on the back of his neck as he announced to the crowd, “I want to see what a ***** feels like.”

The entire altercation, which was photographed by an Associated Press reporter, did not last long, Smith said.

“The only thing I really remember about that is they stood right there on the steps where we couldn’t get in, and they were making noises and noises and saying things,” he recounted.

‘But that didn’t really bother us. My father already prepared us for that.

“They just stood there and kept us from going in,” Smith continued, saying that he and the other black teens then walked back home with some preachers.

The new enrollees ultimately decided not to attend the school.

1669579810 743 Black Student In 1957 Photo With Jerry Jones Outside Segregated

Jones, 80, grew up in the South at the height of the civil rights movement with a father who ran for public office on a pro-segregation platform.

He Had Voiced Objections To The Nfl'S Rooney Rule, Which Requires Teams To Interview At Least One Outside Minority Candidate For Top Jobs, And Has Never Hired A Black Head Coach Or Chief Executive.

He had voiced objections to the NFL’s Rooney rule, which requires teams to interview at least one outside minority candidate for top jobs, and has never hired a black head coach or chief executive.

In the days since the 65-year-old’s photo was discovered, Jones has maintained that she doesn’t remember much of the confrontation, but said: “It’s just a reminder to me of how to improve and do things the right way.”

The 80-year-old billionaire grew up in the South at the height of the civil rights movement with a father who ran for public office on a pro-segregationist platform and a grandfather who was a member of the Arkansas branch of White Citizens. ‘ Council.

He would go on to play for an all-white football team in Arkansas, winning a national title in 1964 along with future Dallas head coach Jimmy Johnson, who was also Jones’s roommate.

But ever since he bought the Dallas football team in 1989, Jones has remained silent on racial issues.

He had voiced objections to the NFL’s Rooney rule, which requires teams to interview at least one outside minority candidate for top jobs, and has never hired a black head coach or chief executive.

Smith, a lifelong Cowboys fan, said now he can change that.

“Now he’s in a position where he could do more for black people than he has,” Smith said.

Jones Opposed Protests During The 2017 Nfl Season, When Many African-American Players Took A Knee To Raise Awareness About Racist Police Practices. He Finally Took A Knee With His Entire Team In September 2017 (Pictured) In A Choreographed Demonstration That Took Place While The National Anthem Was Not Playing.

Jones opposed protests during the 2017 NFL season, when many African-American players took a knee to raise awareness about racist police practices. He finally took a knee with his entire team in September 2017 (pictured) in a choreographed demonstration that took place while the national anthem was not playing.

Jones also opposed protests during the 2017 NFL season, when many African-American players took a knee to raise awareness about racist police practices.

He finally took a knee with his entire team in September 2017 in a choreographed demonstration that took place while the national anthem was not playing.

“Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones said at a post-game news conference.

‘They were well aware that the statement, when made or attempted as part of the recognition of our flag, can not only generate criticism but also controversy.

‘It was very easy for everyone in our organization to see that the message of unity, the message of equality was being, as it were, pushed aside or diminished by controversy.’

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Jacky

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