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Jim Brown

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown says he’s encouraged to see athletes taking risks by “intelligently protesting” for social change.

The 78-year-old Cleveland Browns great has been an activist for more than 50 years. On Friday, he praised players like NBA superstar LeBron James for speaking out and “bringing attention” to high-profile cases in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.

LeBron James

LeBron James

James and Cavaliers teammate Kyrie Irving were among a group of players who wore “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts this week in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died in July after a New York police officer placed him in a chokehold while trying to arrest him.

Brown hopes for more dialogue between civic leaders and law enforcement to prevent further tragedies.

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