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Unearthed photo shows 14-year-old Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in heated civil rights clash in 1957

A 14-year-old Jerry Jones appears in a recently unearthed photograph from 1957 that shows a group of white students at Arkansas’ North Little Rock High blocking six African-American teenagers from entering and integrating the school.

Jones, now known as the Dallas Cowboys owner, has acknowledged that that it is him in the photograph, which was discovered by the Washington Post.

The 80-year-old billionaire said he looked ‘like a little burrhead’ in the photo, which was taken amid a wave of civil rights clashes in the Little Rock area. More famously, President Dwight D. Eisenhower dispatched federal troops to Little Rock’s Central High in September of 1957 to escort black students to class as they were harassed and spit at by racist, vitriolic protestors.

As Jones explained to the Post, his football coach, Jim Albright, had warned players to avoid the widely anticipated scene on the first day of classes at North Little Rock High.

Jones disobeyed, but says he did so out of curiosity and not any racist animosity.

‘I don’t know that I or anybody anticipated or had a background of knowing … what was involved,’ he said. ‘It was more a curious thing.’

Defiant white students at Arkansas’ North Little Rock High School block the doors of the school, denying access to six African-American students enrolled in the school September 9, 1957. Moments later the African American students were shoved down a flight of stairs and onto the sidewalk, where city police broke up the altercation. CIRCLED: 14-year-old Jerry Jones

The 80-year-old billionaire said he looked 'like a little burrhead' in the photo, which was taken amid a wave of civil rights clashes in the Little Rock area. As Jones explained to the Post, his football coach, Jim Albright, had warned players to avoid the widely anticipated scene on the first day of classes at North Little Rock High

The 80-year-old billionaire said he looked ‘like a little burrhead’ in the photo, which was taken amid a wave of civil rights clashes in the Little Rock area. As Jones explained to the Post, his football coach, Jim Albright, had warned players to avoid the widely anticipated scene on the first day of classes at North Little Rock High

Since buying the Cowboys in 1989, Jerry Jones, now 80, has won three Super Bowls

Since buying the Cowboys in 1989, Jerry Jones, now 80, has won three Super Bowls

But not everyone was standing at the North Little Rock High entrance out of curiosity.

As one black student, Richard Lindsey, explained, a white student put his hand on the back of his neck while announcing to the crowd: ‘I want to see how a n***** feels.’

The new enrollees decided against attending the school.

Jones is not pictured at the front of the pack, but rather behind a group of older-looking students. 

The flat-topped teenager was raised in the south in the heyday of the civil rights movement. But while his father was happy to serve black customers at the family’s desegregated grocery store, Pat Jones ran for public office on a pro-segregationist platform.

‘I stand for states’ rights,’ Pat said during his campaign for the Arkansas legislature, using a phrase that is a common euphemism for segregation.

Jones’ grandfather, a cotton farmer named Joe, was a member of the Arkansas branch of the White Citizens’ Council. 

A policeman points to a youth as he stops a group of North Little Rock High School students singing Dixie songs at the school this morning. African American students who tried to enter the school yesterday stayed away on September 10, 1957 in North Little Rock

A policeman points to a youth as he stops a group of North Little Rock High School students singing Dixie songs at the school this morning. African American students who tried to enter the school yesterday stayed away on September 10, 1957 in North Little Rock

Two black students - Richard Richardson, 17, and Harold Smith, 17 - are harassed in Little Rock in 1957 as they attempted to integrate Arkansas' North Little Rock High

Two black students – Richard Richardson, 17, and Harold Smith, 17 – are harassed in Little Rock in 1957 as they attempted to integrate Arkansas’ North Little Rock High

This view taken from the doors of North Little Rock High School, shows students rushing to stop six African-American boys from attempting to attend the first day of classes, September 9, 1957. The children had enrolled at the school earlier. At the door, white students blocked the entrance and were successful in turning back the black students.

This view taken from the doors of North Little Rock High School, shows students rushing to stop six African-American boys from attempting to attend the first day of classes, September 9, 1957. The children had enrolled at the school earlier. At the door, white students blocked the entrance and were successful in turning back the black students.

The future owner of the Cowboys would go on to play for an all-white football team at Arkansas, winning a national title in 1964 alongside Dallas’ future head coach, Jimmy Johnson, who was also Jones’ roommate. He would later hire another former Razorback, Oklahoma head coach Barry Switzer, to replace Johnson.

Jones has not been very vocal about racial issues since buying the Cowboys in 1989 for $140 million – money he earned through oil and gas exploration.

He has voiced objections to the NFL’s Rooney rule, requiring teams to interview at least one outside minority candidate for top jobs, and he has never hired a black head coach or lead executive. (Jones keeps the GM title for himself, and his son, Steven, serves as the Cowboys’ chief operating officer/executive vice president/director of player personnel)

‘He has a history of being quite dismissive and arrogant towards players in bargaining, but I can’t honestly say it’s completely race-driven because I’ve seen it with the black players and white players,’ one black player told the Post. ‘He’s sort of an equal opportunity condescender.’

Jones did object to protests during the 2017 NFL season, when many African-American players took a knee to raise awareness of racist policing practices. He ultimately took a knee with his entire team in September of 2017 (pictured) in a choreographed demonstration that took place while the national anthem wasn't playing

Jones did object to protests during the 2017 NFL season, when many African-American players took a knee to raise awareness of racist policing practices. He ultimately took a knee with his entire team in September of 2017 (pictured) in a choreographed demonstration that took place while the national anthem wasn’t playing

Jones did object to protests during the 2017 NFL season, when many African-American players took a knee to raise awareness of racist policing practices. He ultimately took a knee with his entire team in September of 2017 in a choreographed demonstration that took place while the national anthem wasn’t playing.

‘Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,’ Jones said at a postgame press conference. ‘They were very much aware that statement, when made or when attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, can not only lead to criticism but also controversy.

‘It was real easy for everybody in our organization to see that the message of unity, the message of equality was getting, if you will, pushed aside or diminished by the controversy.’

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk