When Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall decided to open his mouth on his twitter page after it was confirmed that Bin Laden was killed, he probably didn't think much of it. It turns out, he should have thought twice about his tweets because Champion apparel didn't find it amusing. Here is the statement Champion sent to ESPN on Friday:
"Champion is a strong supporter of the government's efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall, who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers.
"While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best."So, what did Mendenhall say on twitter to stir up this mess?
"What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..."
"We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style"All I can say is that if you are a public figure, you must think before you speak or in this case - tweet. People look up to athletes and they must avoid putting themselves in the spotlight for negative reasons like this. It is one thing to have an opinion, but when Mendenhall makes his statements, he appears ignorant and questions the majority of the American population. That is just dumb and in most cases, it will not turn out well.