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David Shaw's advice to players speaking out on social issues

It seems the problems of the real world are seeping more and more into sports by the day. Considering the news produced just this month, both domestically and internationally, it'd be almost impossible to. Sticking one's head in the sand is still possible for those inclined, but it's harder than ever.

As more athletes feel compelled to do something other than #SticktoSports, Stanford head coach David Shaw offered his bit of advice on the proper way to do so. For a guy who makes sure every word is properly vetted and heavily weighed before it escapes his lips, Shaw advised athletes to do the same before taking up their chosen cause.

"I caution guys about taking up causes unless they completely understand what they're talking about, and completely understand their positions so if they do say something they can defend their positions with facts and not just, 'well, this is what I was thinking at the time,'" Shaw told Fox Sports. "I caution them not to be reactionary. I caution them not to be emotional in the things they say publicly because they do have that platform, and that platform is powerful."

Shaw also cautioned that the platform college athletes have been given is stronger than they likely realize. "I remind these guys that every kid that they shake hands with, they may forget about it but those kids remember it, sometimes for the rest of their lives. And I remind them that my daughter right now plays soccer and she wears (former Cardinal cornerback) Richard Sherman's jersey. She wears 25. Why? Because he came to my house when she was seven years old and he made an impact on her and she's never forgotten it. My son wears 33 in soccer because of (former Cardinal RB) Stepfan Taylor. Your platform is much more powerful than you can possibly imagine so use it cautiously and use is specifically. If there's something you want to say that you truly believe in, I say go ahead and do it but make sure you know what you're talking about and can defend your positions."