Mendenhall Loses Champion Sponsorship After Bin Laden Tweets

PITTSBURGH (AP) After Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall made Tweets about criticizing people for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden, he received plenty of backlash from fans and members of the media.

Now it looks as if the backlash has reached his wallet. According to a report, the Champion sports apparel company has ended its endorsement with Mendenhall.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday that Champion “strongly disagreed” with the tweets and ended a new four-year contract the player recently signed. Mendenhall has endorsed the company’s products since entering the league in 2008.

Mendenhall on Monday questioned the public celebrations of bin Laden’s death, and whether the World Trade Center towers were really brought down on Sept. 11, 2001, only by crashing two hijacked airliners into the buildings.

Mendenhall has since clarified his remarks by saying Americans were insulted when some people celebrated the terrorist attacks masterminded by bin Laden, and that others might view Americans celebrating bin Laden’s death the same way.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  • Wise Cub fan

    What a bunch of Nazis.

  • Ms. Understood

    It saddens me that they would turn their backs on such a good guy. I knew him in college and everyone knows what an amazingly caring person of people he is. Always humble and filled with such a good spirit it is sad to see the evils in others hearts win out over the purity in his. He was not sticking up for Bin Laden, but merely questioning the morality and true weights of people’s hearts out there. I feel for the families of the lost in 9/11, but I also think we should not ever rejoice in the death of anyone, especially if I am going to call myself a Christian. I pray the Lord has mercy on Osama’s, the world’s, and my soul. Not to sound all spiritually crazy, just an anonymous girl sticking up for a good guy.

  • Dave

    Good for Champion. I read a few comments that Champion “turned their backs on him” and “Nazis”. I applaud Champion. First off, Champion is a company who pays Mendenhall to promote their products, based off of the fact a lot of people like Mendenhall. If Mendenhall chooses to make controversial statements and put himself out there, then he runs the risk that many people will disagree with him and in turn dislike him. It then should logically follow that if your name does not garner sales, or people do not like you, then Champion should discontinue their relationship. Doesn’t Champion have the same right to free speech, that some people are supporting Mendenhall for? I dig it Champion, nicely done, I will take a second look at your product cause I like your style. I am sure the families who lost loved ones that day feel the same.

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