Champion drops Mendenhall following controversial Twitter comments

Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rashard Mendenhall runs for a first down against the New York Jets during the fourth quarter of the AFC Championship at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 23, 2011. The Steelers defeated the Jets 24-19 and will face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

After reading about Steelers’ running back Rashard Mendenhall’s controversial comments regarding Osama bin Laden’s death earlier this week, I summed up my reaction piece with the following:

Just because we have a tongue and the freedom to use it, doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for what comes out of our mouths.

It hasn’t even been five full days since Mendenhall posted the comments on Twitter and already he’s paying the piper.

Michael McCarthy from USA Today reports that the athletic wear company Champion is ending its business relationship with Mendenhall following his remarks. Apparently Mendenhall has been with the company since 2008 and was scheduled to re-up with Champion through 2015. But instead, they’ve decided to cut all ties with the running back.

This is exactly what I meant earlier this week about Mendenhall suffering the consequences for his actions. Yes, he has the freedom to say what he wants in this country and yes, he has the right to speak his mind. But Champion also has the right not to give its money to someone who will tweet things like, “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.” (A statement that he actually deleted soon after posting it.)

Many football fans are irate over his comments too, so he hasn’t seen the last of the backlash. I don’t know if he has any other deals with sporting companies but if he does, I’m sure Champion won’t be the only one who kicks him to the curb.

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