I'm not trying to say who is right, or justified , or anything else. I'm just pointing out that politics has been interwoven into sports for a long time and that as long as the political message is palatable, the audience doesn't care. It's when the political message challenges the status quo, or runs contrary to deep seated beliefs that "shut up and play" gets trotted out. Everyone remembers Jane Fonda going to N Vietnam, but how many remember what Elvis and Nixon talked about in the Oval Office?
Too often the right to petition for redress is only tolerated when it does not offend or impact.