One generation after Michael Jordan famously eschewed political stances on the grounds that "Republicans buy shoes, too," athletes aren't nearly as afraid to remain neutral on subjects that matter.

Recent protests and social movements triggered by events in Ferguson and across the country are pushing professional athletes to use their public platforms in advancing issues they care about most.

Quietly, LeBron James is becoming one of them.

Ever since his Miami Heat posted a hoodie-draped homage to Trayvon Martin following his shooting death, James has been less and less afraid to insert his voice into issues of race.

Last spring, he called for the NBA to remove Donald Sterling as the Los Angeles Clippers owner after tapes revealing Sterling's racist comments were leaked to the public.

James has also made some carefully weighed remarks regarding the more recent social unrest taking place across the country. While acknowledging that problems exist, James also wanted to steer clear of inciting any additional violence.

"It's a sensitive subject right now," James said to CBS Sports. "Violence is not the answer; retaliation isn't the solution. As a society, we just have to do better."

James also addressed the issue of race in the NBA during a sit-down interview before the start of the NBA season:

As athletes become more comfortable with taking a stand, the spotlight inevitably shines brighter on that world's most visible personalities. James is adept at handling this pressure, only commenting in a careful manner without making statements too strong in any direction.

But he's making comments nonetheless, which is an important step.

"It doesn't matter if you're an athlete or not," James said to CBS Sports. "If you feel passionate about it or it hits home for you, then you have the right to speak upon it. That's why we have freedom of speech. I've never shied away for something that I feel for or people or families that I feel for. That's just who I am.

"But I don't think we should add pressure to anybody, first of all, that doesn't have the knowledge about it, that's not educated upon it to speak about something you don't know about."

In other words, James doesn't want to feel pressured to say anything. But he does want to be a part of the conversation. At this point, it seems the Cavaliers star is trying to figure out how he wants his voice to be involved.

Related Story: Charles Barkley Says Eric Garner Death Wasn't Homicide, Slams Public Outcry

NBA Hall Of Famers With Titles For Two Teams

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem's first title came with Milwaukee in 1971 as he and Oscar Robertson guided the Bucks to the only championship in franchise history.

 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

After being traded to the Lakers, Kareem collected titles in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.

 

Wilt Chamberlain

In 1966-67, Chamberlain averaged 24.1 points and 24.2 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a 68-13 regular-season record and the NBA championship.

 

Wilt Chamberlain

After being traded to the Lakers, Wilt lost his first two Finals appearance, to Celtics in 1969 and the Knicks in 1970. But in 1972, Chamberlain and Lakers capped a season that included a 33-game winning streak and a 69-12 record by wiping out the Knicks in the Finals.

 

Jamaal Wilkes

Wilkes won NBA rookie of the year in 1975 when he and Rick Barry helped the Warriors win the title, sweeping the Bullets in the Finals.

 

Jamaal Wilkes

Wilkes then became the part of three title teams with the Lakers in 1980, 1982 and 1985.

 

Bill Walton

Walton was the catalyst to Portland's 1977 NBA championship team. In the clinching Game 6 against the 76ers, Walton had 20 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists and 8 blocks.

 

Bill Walton

Injuries derailed his career, but Walton earned the NBA's Sixth Man Award in 1986 in helping the Celtics win the third and final championship of the Larry Bird era.

 

Dennis Johnson

Johnson was NBA Finals MVP in 1979 when the Seattle SuperSonics won the only championship in franchise history.

 

Dennis Johnson

The Celtics acquired Johnson to help contain 76ers guard Andrew Toney, who had earned the nickname The Boston Strangler. Johnson helped the Celtics win titles in 1984 and 1986.

 

Dennis Rodman

Rodman was a key reserve on Detroit's championship teams in 1989 and 1990.

 

Dennis Rodman

Then he replaced Horace Grant as the starting power forward on the Bulls and was a part of Michael Jordan's second three-peat.

 

Robert Parish

The Chief was the center of Boston's three title teams in the Bird era.

 

Robert Parish

He picked up one more ring as a reserve on the Bulls' 1997 championship team.

 

Slater Martin

Martin was part of the George Mikan-led Lakers that won four NBA titles in the early 50s.

 

Slater Martin

He was then a member of the St. Louis Hawks in 1958 when they beat the Celtics in the Finals for the franchise's lone championship.

 

Arnie Risen

Risen is No. 19 in the picture above of the Celtics' 1957 NBA championship team. It was the first in franchise history. Risen also won in 1951 with the Rochester Royals.

 

Clyde Lovellette

Lovellette is usually known for being the answer to this trivia question: Who was the first player to win an NCAA title, an Olympic gold medal and an NBA championship? Lovellette won three NBA rings, with the Lakers (1954) and Celtics (1963, 1964).

 

Shaquille O'Neal

Technically, Shaq is not part of the group yet, because he doesn't become eligible for Hall of Fame induction until 2017, but that's merely a formality. O'Neal led the Lakers to a three-peat in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

 

Shaquille O'Neal

After being traded to Miami, Shaq helped Dwyane Wade and the Heat earn their first title in 2006.

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