Zay Jones’ Parents: His Father Robert Didn’t Have Parents Growing Up

By AbigailPublished on: February 8, 2024 Updated on: February 15, 2024
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Zay Jones is the football wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite several injuries and controversies, one cannot deny that the player has the chops and gameplay to make it far in the league. Throughout his career, Jones’ parents have played a significant role in his success.

His father, Robert Jones, and mother, Maneesha Jones, are the ones who laid the foundation for the athlete’s growth in sports in terms of ethics and hard work. Let’s explore the life of the Jones couple below.

Zay Jones’ Parents Got Married Three Decades Ago

In a world where most people struggle to make it through a year into a relationship, Zay’s dad and mom have been together for three decades. The couple got married on July 4, 1992. In 2023, they celebrated their 31 years of togetherness.

Zay Jones' father Robert Jones and mother Maneesha Jones
Zay Jones’ parents Robert and Maneesha Jones have been together for decades.

Even though years have passed since they officially tied the knot, their love for each other is intact.

Maneesha Met Robert While Visiting Her Sibling

When Robert was at East Carolina University, Maneesha went to the campus to see her sister Lewanna. They met each other for the first time there, and the pretty woman was impressed by Robert’s manners. She called him a ‘true Southern gentleman.’ Afterward, the two started dating.

Initially, Robert was closed off emotionally because of his past. After the pair began their relationship, Maneesha’s constant love and affection healed his heart to some degree and helped him open up.

The lovebirds officially tied the knot before the former player’s draft into the NFL. Upon his entry into the league, they moved to Dallas, where their relationship flourished.

Robert was raised in a family where they did not show physical affection to each other. Since his wife’s family was the opposite, they had some difficulty in the starting days of their marriage. However, due to her overwhelming affection, Robert also opened up and became more expressive in his love.

Zay Jones’ Parents Have Five More Children

In their decades of togetherness, the wedded pair have welcomed six children. They have three sons, Cayleb, Zay, and Levi, and three daughters, Leah, Priscilla, and Ana. Similar to Zay, Priscilla has followed in her father’s footsteps and is a volleyball player at East Carolina University.

Zay Jones with his father Robert Jones, mother Maneesha Jones and his siblings
Robert and Maneesha have six children from their marriage

Zay Is Not The Only Footballer In The Family

The 29-year-old’s father is a former NFL player who played for the Dallas CowboysSt. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins. Robert Jones is one of the most decorated linebackers in his alma mater’s football history.

The retired LB was drafted in 1992 and won three Super Bowl Championships with the Cowboys. Zay’s older brother Cayleb is also a former football wide receiver, though he was not officially drafted and remained an off-season player. Zay’s younger brother Levi is the linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, currently on a reserve contract.

Moreover, Zay’s maternal aunt, Lewanna, is married to former football quarterback Jeff Blake.

Robert Was Born In A Large Family

Robert Lee Jones was born on September 27, 1969, to Bennie Jones and Pearl Watson. Pearl and Bennie had an age difference of ten years.

Zay’s father, Robert was the youngest of eight children, with six older brothers and an older sister. Three of his older brothers are Bennie Jr, Thomas, and Linell. The former NFL player was raised by his maternal uncle, Earnest Watson, and aunt Betty Watson.

Zay’s Grandfather Was Imprisoned For Murdering His Grandmother

When Robert was merely three months old, his father shot his mother in the stomach over an argument. Zay’s grandpa, Bennie was an alcoholic and had a previous record of domestic violence. At the time of her death, Robert’s mother had been breastfeeding him. Though he was not physically hurt, he was later found covered in blood by the police.

As a result, Zay’s grandfather served eight years in jail. After his release, Robert went to visit his father to seek some answers and hoped that he had repented. He wanted to forgive and reconcile with the latter to have some peace of mind. Instead, his father told Robert he murdered his wife “Cause she didn’t do what I told her to do.”

His cruel answer sealed the fate of the father-son relationship. Sometime later, Bennie had a stroke, which bound him to a wheelchair until he died in 1996. Zay’s old man neither attended the funeral nor sent any flowers.

After Robert had kids of his own, he tried his best to give them the kind of life and love he never got. He made sure to be strict but also a loving parent. For Zay, Robert is not only his father but also his coach, teacher, and hero.


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Robert’s Fiasco With His Cousin

In 2014, TMZ released a news article telling Robert hired a hitman to kill one of its sports agents. The source of the news was cited to be Robert’s cousin, Theodore R. Watson Jr.

Later, Robert and his attorneys clarified that Watson had been bothering the Jones family for money for a long time. Since Robert did not cave to his demands, his estranged cousin went to TMZ to sell a fake story to receive money.

Furthermore, the 54-year-old sued TMZ for defamation and conspiracy.

Zay’s Mother, Maneesha Has Two Sisters

Maneesha Diane Richardson was born on July 2, 1972, to Carolyn Richardson. She has two sisters, Lewanna and Katosha Bryan. The three sisters share a close bond to this day.

Zay Jones' mother Maneesha Jones and her family posing for a photo
Maneesha’s family has a tight bond.

According to her Facebook bio, Lewanna works as an outside sales representative at Soleil Floors. In addition, the gorgeous lady is fluent in Spanish and Latin. She homeschooled Zay till he was in sixth grade and even taught him the languages.

Jones’s Mother Is A Businesswoman

Maneesha graduated from West Virginia University in 1992. In 2012, she opened her own business, Get It Clean, in Austin, Texas. It is an enterprise that specializes in selling janitorial, safety, food service, and industrial supplies to city, state & federal governments.

Her company also provides supplies to procurement managers and contractors who hold small business goals.

The Wide Receiver Is A Combination Of His Parents

Zay’s parents share a close bond with their middle child and have not left any stone unturned in his nurturing. The couple has instilled the values of hard work and ethics into the young man.

The footballer is the perfect combination of his dad and mom. He possesses his father’s unwavering discipline and toughness on the field, along with his mother’s smile, charisma, and gentle nature in his personal life. In his own words,

With them two, my father with the discipline. Be on time, go to sleep, work hard, do extra. Then with my mother it was, be loving, be kind, be graceful, put others first. Put that together, it’s just a reflection of who I am.