ARLINGTON, Texas — Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones says he wants to increase minority involvement at the ownership level in NFL franchises.
“Nobody got in on a wing and prayer any more than I did, and I really couldn’t afford it,” Jones said after the Cowboys’ 30-10 win against the New York Jets. “But I got into it and as we look and see — and we do see — the qualified potential buyers out here that can get involved and that’s one way. It’s not the only way.
[There are] multiple ways to address inequity. Multiple ways to go do it. And certainly I would think about one way is to try to work to get ownership improved in the minority area. And I’m all for it and I do it. I work at it. I work at it.”
The backdrop behind Jones’ comments was a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by former NFL Media employee Jim Trotter against the NFL. The suit alleges Jones said in front of a group of people, including Trotter, “If Blacks feel some kind of way, they should buy their own team and hire who they want to hire.”
Jones reiterated Sunday that was not “accurate.”
“Jim’s a friend and I think a lot of him,” Jones said. “I hate that we’ve got some litigation and hopefully we will address all of that, but the overall concern I would say is just not accurate.”
Jones said he has visited with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about finding ways to increase interest in minority ownership. Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is an investor with the new ownership of the Washington Commanders.
“Magic is a great ambassador and I’d carry him piggyback to get him involved in the NFL,” Jones said.
The Commanders recently sold for a record $6.05 billion. Last year, the Denver Broncos sold for $4.65 billion. Last month, the Cowboys were valued at $9 billion by Forbes.
“You know the financial hurdles for everything has gone up, but percentage-wise there are qualified people out here,” Jones said. “If they aren’t here this minute, they’re on their way because that’s what’s happening in this country is people do gain on it and many of the people that recently have gotten involved in the NFL might not have been able to do it 20 years ago.
“So, continuing to share thoughts and ideas with other people about being involved and from ownership is something that I can speak to. I’ve wanted it when I couldn’t afford it and I am a big disciple, so to speak, that you can do it.”