As Heard On Shan & RJ | 105.3 The Fan

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — Professional athletes have begun taking on a more visible role in protesting social issues, most recently related to police violence in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

LeBron James, one of the world’s most popular athletes, and teammate Kyrie Irving took the floor for warm-ups Monday night wearing “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirts.

Last weekend, a group of St. Louis rams players joined the demonstrations by making the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture before an NFL game.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who purchased the team in 1989, says he never envisioned athletes taking on such a prominent role.

“I never saw this coming 25 years ago when I got in the NFL,” said Jones with Shan & RJ on 105.3 The Fan. “It’s probably misplaced, the interest and the incidents of eyeballs, the amount of volume, the amount of time that people spend looking at NFL content. I never saw that coming to the extent that it is today.”

“Along the way, society, people in this country have said, ‘Ok guys, you’ve been saying look us over; look at us; watch us; look at what we are; look at our soap operas; look at all the things that go on weekly, daily; in a franchise in a season, offseason. Now take on the responsibility of taking on some of the things we deal with in society.’ And there we go.”

Jones points out that there is actually a lower percentage of issues within the NFL than with the general population.

But ultimately, the NFL and other professional leagues have competed for attention over the years — and they’ve now got it.

“I think it’s taken on a responsibility that you get when you get this much attention.”

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