Sure, it's a free speech issue. But when Champion dropped Rashard Mendenhall over his tweets about the reaction to Osama bin Laden's death, it became a control issue, too. And Mendenhall now has it back.
The already-complicated relationship we have with the players we love to watch is even murkier during the NFL lockout. Perhaps it's because fans aren't yet comfortable with the athlete as a business equal of ownership.