People often ask me who my favourite comedian is. Ellen is at the top of my list. She is obviously funny, positive, and beyond the delight that she brings to her audience, she also uses her platform to do good.
People don't ask me what my favorite sport to watch is. That is a good thing, because if they did, I would need to confess that it is MMA. In particular, like millions of others, I have followed the rise, dominance and humiliating fall of Rowdy Ronda Rousey. She boasted, she taunted and she got knocked out hard. As an audience member, I chalked it all up to good entertainment and loved all the nuances of the showmanship. However, as a person, I couldn't help but 'feel' for what she must be experiencing on an emotional level.
In the same way that you are human, athletes and entertainers are also human. "Yeah, well, they chose the spotlight, so we can say whatever we want". Uhm... not sure they chose the spotlight. That said, they did choose a pursuit that required unbelievable discipline and work ethic that led them to ridiculous success and as a by-product they were put in the spotlight because we are desperate to watch and live vicariously through what most of us don't have the courage to attempt or wherewithal to achieve. So, yeah, you are allowed to say whatever you want, but... you get it, right? People. We are all people. With feelings.