Shortly after video was released that showed Jerry Jones making a racially insensitive joke in 2013, the Dallas Cowboys owner apologized Friday.
“That comment was inappropriate,” Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s not who I am, and I’m sorry.”
In the video, posted on TheBlast.com, Jones gives a congratulatory message to a fan’s new fiancée. “Jennifer, congratulations on the wedding,” Jones says. “Now, you know he’s with a black girl tonight, don’t you?”
Four years later, the video came to the surface because the owner of the video “thought the current temperature of race in the NFL and the country made Jones’ comments relevant,” according to TheBlast.
Former Cowboys cornerback Deion Sanders came to the defense of Jones on Friday after the 2013 video was published.
“I won’t cast judgment, on one moment when a joke went south, to capture who this man represents in a lifetime commitment of love and compassion to all ethnicities,” Sanders said, via the Star-Telegram. “He has gone beyond the call of duty of being an NFL owner for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds, and I know this to be a fact. A joke that was intended to add humor at the request of a fan in a light-hearted moment was taken totally out of intent. I’m sorry we’re in this state of mind as a country, but if you’re looking for a racist Jerry Jones is not that guy.”
Jones has been in a public dispute with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and other team owners in recent weeks with the league’s handling of protests during the national anthem and the suspension for Ezekiel Elliott at the middle of the disputes.
The Cowboys owner has been one of the harshest critics of protesting players and promised earlier in the year that any player who “disrespects the flag” won’t play for the team. That mandate didn’t seem to sit well with players on the team and even drew a response from the NAACP. The video published Friday likely won’t help his case.