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Thread: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

      
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    Irish Goonatic's Avatar
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    Default Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Rashard Mendenhall's candid tweets about Osama bin Laden's death and the 9/11 terror attacks cost him an endorsement deal.

    Athletic apparel manufacturer Champion announced Thursday that it had dropped the Pittsburgh Steelers running back after he questioned the celebrations of bid Laden's death and expressed his uncertainty over official accounts of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, suburban Washington and Pennsylvania.

    Spokesman Matt Hall told USA Today that the company was "ending our business relationship" with Mendenhall because it didn't believe he "can appropriately represent Champion." Mendenhall had endorsed the company since 2008 and signed a four-year contract with it earlier this year.

    Mendenhall responded Monday on Twitter to the joy greeting last weekend's announcement that a U.S. military team had killed bin Laden in a Pakistani mansion. He first tweeted, "What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE and man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...," and followed with tweets questioning what really happened -- "I just have a hard time believing a plan could take a skyscraper down demolition style" -- and encouraging his followers on the social platform to "think."

    A firestorm of controversy erupted around Mendenhall, who on Wednesday clarified and apologized for the tweets.

    That didn't stop Mendenhall from losing his endorsement deal with Champion, which released this statement:

    "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."

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    I hope this will be the last mention of a Steelers player in the press for the rest of the off season.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Goonatic View Post
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    "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.

    You bet they are! Champion needs to keep their sweat shops in third-world countries running!!!

    Rashard... you have a right to believe or say or tweet what ever you want. There were alot of decent folks in Germany in the 1930's and 40's who didn't speak out. Some, who still believe to this day that Germany was about to be attacked by Russia and France. ... Furthermore, had it not been for Christopher Columbus, challenging what was widely believed to be fact (the world being flat), who knows what this country would be like today?

    **** Champion! They suck anyway.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Well I guess we wont be seeing all of those Champion ads with Mendenhall that we are so used to seeing??? I mean really, who even knew that Mendy had an endorsement deal with them? Where do they advertise anyway?
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    I have a champion sweatshirt. Should I burn it out of protest? BTW, I had no idea either that he had a deal with them. Maybe he was in some magazine ads or something? Never saw a TV commercial with him advertising champion. Doesn't mean there wasn't one, I just never saw one personally.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    In a previous thread, I supported Mendy's right to take whatever position he wanted - as long as it wasn't conceived in ill will - and I don't think it was.

    On the other hand, if you're gong to take a position, just be ready to face the blowback.

    Case in point.

    I hope this is a lesson learned for this young man. Honestly, I do. I hope he becomes a better man for it but it's up to him.
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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Now, Mendenhall knows how it feels to be dropped.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Goonatic View Post
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    I hope this will be the last mention of a Steelers player in the press for the rest of the off season.
    I doubt it will be. People who work hard are often targets. The steelers tend to get players who think differently sometimes at least and this is one more example. I think Stallworth said it best from an NFL films clip, the steelers draft players who are more interestingly motivated than other people. Thus one of the reasons for their success. I wonder if Tomlin and staff pull the college transcripts like Noll used to do. Hmm. All of what Rashard speaks about is the truth and in the end those who perpetuated the mess will it coming to them on the day they meet their creator. That is something I would not want to witness.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    You bet they are! Champion needs to keep their sweat shops in third-world countries running!!!

    Rashard... you have a right to believe or say or tweet what ever you want. There were alot of decent folks in Germany in the 1930's and 40's who didn't speak out. Some, who still believe to this day that Germany was about to be attacked by Russia and France. ... Furthermore, had it not been for Christopher Columbus, challenging what was widely believed to be fact (the world being flat), who knows what this country would be like today?

    **** Champion! They suck anyway.
    good post..

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Rashard Mendenhall :
    'I guess when you join the NFL, you revoke your freedom of speech,'' Mendenhall tweeted in response to mounting criticism after using the slavery analogy.'

    The above quote attributed to Mendenhall on 5/7/11 article by John Harris in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, found here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1LgApKvcj

    Mendenhall is obviously wrong because he subsequently exercised his First Amendment Right of free speech again to drop more of his special profundities on the public.

    Mendenhall remains free to say anything he wants. Others remain free to judge the wisdom and the sensitivity (or lack thereof) of those remarks. Consequences follow from those judgements.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Last thing that anybody needs is someone to start trouble. As also, you need to watch what you say and do. Especially if it is on FB, Twitter, Myspace, etc!

    Know the feeling as I have said stuff. But also it has cost me more. Like my job. But I was young and reckless. Hopefully he can learn from this mistake and move on.
    November is Here!

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by logopogo View Post
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    Rashard Mendenhall :
    'I guess when you join the NFL, you revoke your freedom of speech,'' Mendenhall tweeted in response to mounting criticism after using the slavery analogy.'

    The above quote attributed to Mendenhall on 5/7/11 article by John Harris in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, found here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1LgApKvcj

    Mendenhall is obviously wrong because he subsequently exercised his First Amendment Right of free speech again to drop more of his special profundities on the public.

    Mendenhall remains free to say anything he wants. Others remain free to judge the wisdom and the sensitivity (or lack thereof) of those remarks. Consequences follow from those judgements.

    spot on

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    I don't twitter. I facebook. I have enough trouble taking care of my turkeys in farmville.

    I didn't know Mendenhall had an endorsement deal with Champion either. Hopefully, this will be a lesson learned for him. I think it will be the last of these types of controversial comments made by him while with the Steelers, but this is his second so I have my doubts.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    Rashard... you have a right to believe or say or tweet what ever you want. There were alot of decent folks in Germany in the 1930's and 40's who didn't speak out. Some, who still believe to this day that Germany was about to be attacked by Russia and France. ... Furthermore, had it not been for Christopher Columbus, challenging what was widely believed to be fact (the world being flat), who knows what this country would be like today?
    I actually disagree... He does not have the right to say whatever he wants...

    He is a representative of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL whether he likes it or not. If he wanted the freedom, he should not have accepted millions of dollars for his job...

    You see coaches in the NBA being fined somewhat regularily for speaking out. NFL players and coaches choose their words carefully to avoid fines and idiot Goodell's wrath...

    In a perfect world, yes, his free speech would be available. But unfortunately there is a price to pay for all of his wealth... It even happens outside of sports. In my job, I cannot voice my free expressions about the industry or my company without the possibility of reprisal. It's just the way it is with many jobs, and his is one of them whether we like it or not. Many jobs are not like that, so be thankful if it doesn't apply to you, but others do require a trade-off for what you choose to do in life.

    ... I'm not saying it's right, but then again, nobody ever said life would be fair.
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Mendenhall loses endorsement deal over bin Laden tweets

    Quote Originally Posted by (419)BlackNGold View Post
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    You bet they are! Champion needs to keep their sweat shops in third-world countries running!!!

    Rashard... you have a right to believe or say or tweet what ever you want. There were alot of decent folks in Germany in the 1930's and 40's who didn't speak out. Some, who still believe to this day that Germany was about to be attacked by Russia and France. ... Furthermore, had it not been for Christopher Columbus, challenging what was widely believed to be fact (the world being flat), who knows what this country would be like today?

    **** Champion! They suck anyway.

    Holy overreactions Batman.

    Rashard learned a valuable lesson. That lesson is that actions have consequences. Nobody is going to his house in the middle of the night and throwing him on the back of a train car. It was his choice to execerise his right to free speech and it was Champion's right to terminate his contract.

    It would ironic to boycott Champion in this instance as they simply did exactly what Rashard did and exercise their right to free assocaition.

    Bottom line folks is that actions have consequences. This is a conceopt understood by 99% of the American public.
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