In the category of “best article I’ve seen so far addressing this threat to free speech” . . .

Pats’ Chris Long responds to call for him to stand up against Donald Trump

Chuck Modiano, a writer for the New York Daily News, wrote an open letter to Chris Long, a player for the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. It’s an offensive letter in all the worst ways. It’s whiny. It’s insulting. It’s coercive. It’s manipulative. It’s logically fallacious. It’s inconsistent. It’s hypocritical. It’s smug. It’s anti–free-speech. It’s classic guilt-trip bullying. Chris Long’s response, on the other hand, is simply classic.

Oh Chuck. Planned on skipping, hadn’t been asked. Don’t need an open letter explaining my own words to me. Not *joining* anyone. My call.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) February 9, 2017

And Vincent Frank, writing for, has a refreshing take on the entire question of sports stars standing up for what they believe, including—at times—avoiding a celebratory trip to the White House because of the current occupant of said house.

Yes, Long ‘announced’ that he will likely be the fourth member of the Patriots to avoid meeting President Trump. That’s not the big story here. . . .

“Instead, it’s that a columnist would go as far to pretty much tell someone else what to do. Is that a signal those in opposition of this administration want to send? We’re surely okay with freedom of speech and the right to self-determination as long as it fits into what we believe to be right.

“Long did a tremendous job pushing back against that while maintaining his own individuality here. Let’s hope other players follow suit at a time when those in the professional sports world are being asked to talk about stuff outside of their own profession.
— Vincent Frank

Whether someone chooses to go to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory—or chooses to not go—is a matter of personal conviction (or at least it should be). Let’s not make out to be more than it is, whether we agree or disagree with someone’s choice.