On Some Subjects, Athletes Prefer a Silent Approach

Recently, the singer and composer John Legend wrote a scathing letter to The New York Post for publishing a cartoon depicting a chimpanzee who had been shot to death by two police officers.
The illustration read: “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”

It created a firestorm of protests by some critics who said the dead chimpanzee was a thinly veiled reference to President Obama. After reading Legend’s letter and watching news reports of protests by various groups, I wondered: Why had there been no public reaction from N.B.A. players, many of whom were visible and vocal during the presidential campaign?