Mendenhall Posts ‘Clarification’ For Bin Laden Tweets

PITTSBURGH (AP) Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall wrote a “clarification” of his comments made Monday on Twitter regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.

In a tweet posted around 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, he linked to an in-depth blog post. In that entry, he wrote that he does not support bin Laden, and that he aimed clear things up, for not only himself, but also the Steelers.

On Monday, Pittsburgh’s leading rusher caused enough of a stir with his tweets, that the Steelers felt compelled to release a statement.

Among Mendenhall’s posts, the day after the bin Laden news broke, was: “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…” He also tweeted on the Sept. 11 attacks: “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

Wednesday’s offering, though, was a different story.

“I appreciate those of you who have decided to read this letter and attain a greater understanding of my recent Twitter posts. I see how they have gotten misconstrued, and wanted to use this outlet as a way to clear up all things that do not truthfully represent myself, what I stand for personally, and any organization that I am a part of.

“First, I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA. I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. Not just in the U.S., but families all over the world who had relatives in the World Trade Centers. My heart goes out to the troops who fight for our freedoms everyday, not being certain if they will have the opportunity to return home, and the families who watch their loved ones bravely go off to war. Last year, I was grateful enough to have the opportunity to travel overseas and participate in a football camp put on for the children of U.S. troops stationed in Germany. It was a special experience. These events have had a significant impact in my life.”

Mendenhall also specifically pointed out the “celebrates death” tweet.

“This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics.”

He also tried to bring closure to the situation.

“Nothing I said was meant to stir up controversy. It was my way to generate conversation. In looking at my timeline in its entirety, everything that I’ve said is with the intent of expressing a wide array of ideas and generating open and honest discussions, something I believe we as American citizens should be able to do. Most opinions will not be fully agreed upon and are not meant to be. However, I believe every opinion should be respected or at least given some thought. I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm. I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name.”

On Tuesday, as Mendenhall’s offerings became a national story, team president Art Rooney II made sure the Steelers were heard from.

“I have not spoken with Rashard, so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments,” he wrote in a statement. “The entire Steelers organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.”

Mendenhall, who profiles himself as a “conversationalist and professional athlete” on his Twitter page, turned some heads in March, as well, when he supported a comment by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to “modern-day slavery.”

“Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel eachother,” Mendenhall posted at the time.

Mendenhall is coming off a tremendous season, as he led the AFC champions in carries (324), rushing yards (1,273) and rushing touchdowns (13). He has 2,439 yards in three seasons since being drafted in the 2008 first round out of Illinois.

In the 2010 postseason, Mendenhall ran for 230 yards on 61 carries in three games with four touchdowns, as Pittsburgh defeated the Baltimore Ravens (31-24) and New York Jets (24-19), before falling to the Green Bay Packers 31-25 in the Super Bowl.

As a result of the controversy, Mendenhall saw a spike in his followers on Twitter. On Tuesday afternoon, he had 13,631. On Wednesday afternoon, he had 36,914.

He personally follows 67 on Twitter. Included in the group he’s following is the Dalai Lama, comedian Sarah Silverman and the Park Community Church in Chicago.

  • Spoon

    I’ve already read all the ‘clarifications’ on his beliefs that I need to see. Hope he fails in his career the same way he failed basic logic.

  • Da Bears

    Anyone dumb enough to post that we will never know what happened on 9/11 and doubts that those planes took down the WTC could not have written this response. It is so obvious that the PR people are hard at work. Rashard could not have written this. He is an idiot.

  • Bjames

    Killing is wrong. Why is it OK to kill anyone.

    • Chief Illiniwek

      You are an idiot sir. Bin laden killed thousands of Americans and he would kill you, your kids, your parents, and anyone else that is close to you. There are people on this earth that deserve to be dead. If someone kidnapped your kid, beat, tortured, raped, and killed him…would you want him dead? I sure hope so.

  • Bjames

    I don’t belive the planes took down the buildings. The problem is the USA is brainwashed by the media.

  • Chief Illiniwek

    People like Bjames need to leave this country. It is amazing that you would live in a country that you THINK kills its own. I saw the planes take down these buildings and the Pentagon with my own eyes, and so did the world. Every American should be applauding our troops and saying “Thank You” everytime you see one of these men/women in uniform. They fight for our freedoms and have stopped many terrorist attacks in the last 10 years. So, to all the men and women that have served our country….THANKS YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

  • Da Bears

    I think Bjames is pulling our chains. Only Rashard could be that stupid.

  • Crazey Nazey

    Stop talking Bin Laden!

    Talk more Bin laden!

  • ereagan

    bjames and rashad;
    perhaps you would like a meeting with Seal Team 6 to explain yourselves.
    Fortunately they are too busy taking out those that would kill you, your family, all Americans, anybody freindly to America and 99% of Muslims that dont buy into their hatred.
    I woulld say move to Yemen but they would not want you either.
    just kill yourselves

  • regal

    people drooling over the bin laden murder are no better than the terrorists rejoicing after 9/11. i thought our judeo-chrisitan roots raised us better. today Americans have been socialiized replace christian values with secular atheist nihilist worldviews which are empty and soulless,. hence the rise of ‘eye-for-an-eye’ barbarrism and bloodthirst replacling reverence and humility among the populace.. its a shame. you cant see this is what Mendenhall was saying. shame on you all.

    and if you Truily believe those planes brought down the towers instead of explosives and full government involvement… and that binladen ISNT a patsy/fallguy/bogeyman for a massive coverup by intelligence agencies both here and abroad.. then youre beyond saving and will never be free.

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