Jeff Hathhorn: Let Mendenhall Speak

By Jeff Hathhorn

I defend, and millions of braver Americans lost their lives to defend, the right for Steelers tailback Rashard Mendenhall to speak his mind.  I appreciate his right to tweet what he thinks and owning up to the comments.

The problem with Mendenhall’s statements are not that he made them, nor as much that they are insensitive, but his facts are wrong.  Osama bin Laden gloated about his involvement in the attacks on innocent civilians in New York City, the Pentagon and what could have happened were it not for the brave souls who perished on a field just over an hour from here.  Many wars have been fought over religion and upon returning home from killing others, there were celebrations, as there are at the end of nearly every war (not that killing bin Laden means the end of the war on terror).  And there are other topics the self-called “conversationalist” tackles on his Twitter page that are too inappropriate to mention here.

Mendenhall needs to realize that his free speech comes at a cost, not his life like our soldiers, but his reputation.  Mendenhall is likely to lose sponsor Champion athletics and it’s unlikely he will ever get another, which potentially could cost him millions.  The Steelers tailback will also have his free speech matched by others and not just the rude responses on Twitter, but how will he react the first time he is out in public and gets verbally abused.  Also, he should hope the team introduces the defense for the home opener on September 18.  This will follow Mendenhall’s first game, atBaltimoreon September 11. 

There will be cheers for Mendenhall when he scores a touchdown or rips off a long run this season (assuming there is one), but know this, fans will be cheering the jersey, but booing the person.

More from Jeff Hathhorn
  • mikedomes

    Im a proud american but I agree with mendenhall in the aspect of the towers.i had relatives that worked there. And we all agree especially with all the evidence.the !!! The MEDIA have to answer to their superiors they will not tell us the truth… We are naive!!

    • wii


    • chased

      I agree with Hathorn, think about what the president said in refence to releasing
      that photo that a lot of americans want to see,..I believe it went something like this,..”that’s not who we are”,…if the president truly believes that, then a lot of
      us have to assume he’s gotton that belief from intermingling among the lot of
      you same americans who would deny what Mendenhall has the right to say
      and defend the right to be able to say it, deny him or any american the right
      of free speech (barring inflamatory remarks) would be to deny what the founding fathers stood for and died for, right?

  • Joe from Upper St. Clair

    Let’s be honest, Mendenhall is a kid. He was 12-13 years old during 9/11 and is the naive College kid now who thinks his time spent in College gave him all the answers. His degree and $3.16 will get him a mocha at Starbucks just like the 1000’s of kids out of College right now with their degrees.

    He is paid to play a game. And although has had success during the regular season, his fumble late in this past Superbowl sealed the Steelers fate. His focus should be football, not politics.

    If we want to listen to an idiot talk Bin Laden and politics, we can all tune in to Barry Obama..

    • Dee

      I was with you and then your commment ended up being just as ignorant as his

  • Brad

    Here’s a “conversationalist” response to your idiotic, narcisssistic, arrogant and IGNORANT comments Rashard…
    If you think the NFL is like slavery, maybe you should consider a few key concepts about the institution that existed in this country long before you or I were born. First, the NFL can’t buy or sell you or your loved ones at their discretion. You don’t have to work 14 hour days in blazing heat with little water or food and your broken shoulder wouldn’t have gotten you a day off. You won’t be physically harmed if you don’t show up for work. Try and show some respect for those who did endure such hardships for I guarantee you offend them with your presumptuous “tweets”. Maybe you should ask a third-worl child who works in a factory for no money and because they have no other choice, and who die daily from malnutrition and disease if you have it so bad. And on the subject of your self-serving “open-minded and educated” nature… Fanatical terrorists WILL kill you if given the chance. That’s been shown quite clearly in recent history. Just reveling in how open-minded you think you are (which is to the point of simple denial) would not be enough to save you if you were in the dangerous situations thousands of Americans have been in over the past decade. You can’t carve on rotten wood, and you can’t win an argument with a moron, so I guess we will leave it at that. Roethlisberger has tarnished our team’s image enough already- now it keeps getting worse. You players may not care about the Steelers since you will probably have little, if any, affiliation with them in the next ten years. For those of us who have loved them and supported them (and paid their salaries) for decades, THIS TEAM MEANS SOMETHING TO US! SHOW SOME RESPECT TO THE STEELERS THEIR FANS AND THE CITY OF PITTSBURGH!

    • Speak the truth


    • Travis M. Reed

      Amen and God Bless America and Steeler Nation. Now cut Rashard and get a running back that represents the steelers the right way.

    • Loves Crosby

      WELL SAID BRAD… PERFECT REPONSE to an idiot that shoud be cut

    • JMarie




  • Jeff

    Rashrad should spend training camp in the middle east this summer. Maybe his tweets would change.

  • Dee

    Well said…It is not so much he can’t speak his mind, but some of these guys need to learn they are part of a “team” and these types of things cause distractions. It is a sensitive time for all parties involved, if anything he should have practice some restraint not to offend the families who lost love ones, instead of trying to philosophize the death of a terrorist who bragged about killing Americans. If that had his family that perished, would wonder would his comment be the same

    I am all for free speech, but that shouldn’t mean anybody can say any moronic thing, without consequence… and then to add the slavery comment, I am sure many of slaves would have LOVED to be able to tweet what they want to say and make milllions. What an insult to those whol lived Even Warren Sapp (who made a simliar commment while playing) says he regrets making that comment. I hope RM learns sometihng here

  • Truth

    UBL wrote letters saying the videos were fake and he did not commit the crime. I don’t know if I believe that but that is out there. I don’t believe the official story of 911 and that is all I believe. Videos came be faked. Remember forest gump shaking hands with former presidents? Videos can be faked. There are alot of people who don’t believe the official story and Many of them are great American heros. Check out

  • Jmarie

    amen! hathorn is a liberal jacka** as is mendenhall.

  • Andy

    I am not understanding Mendenhall’s “never heard him speak” comment. Im not sure what he has been paying attention too the past 15+ years, but I have heard him speak countless times. There are countless videos online and on tv of bin laden’s motivational and anti-america speech.

    Also I believe that every man has the right to free speech. He should not be criticized for doing so. (as much as i disagree with his opinions)

    However, I also believe that we should not be celebrating the death of another human being despite their crimes committed against humanity. I still thank God for the Navy SEALs and EVERY man and woman in uniform for ridding the world of the evil we knew as usama bin laden. Count it as a victory for America and our Allies. Not a celebration.

  • Alex

    There WERE bombs in the buildings. Mendenhall was right. Check out Architects and Engineers for 911 Or just google building #7 or fireman interviews on 911. Maybe it was Osama bin ladin?
    Don’t critisize mendenhall for his use of Free Speach.

  • Tim D

    I agree 100% that Mendenhall has the right to speak. However, his decision to speak doesn’t protect him from the ridicule and scorn that others might choose to heap upon him in response. After all, it’s MY right to say he’s an idiot for making these comments. If you’re going to defend his right to speak, then you have to defend the right of those who would criticize him as well.

  • Ken

    The Steelers should rid themselves of Mr. Mendenhall.

  • joe

    Every time you cheer for Mendenhall you spit in the face of those who laid down their lives for you. However, he is a steeler and that makes him God in the eyes of Steeler fans. Cheer loud enough and you won’t hear the mothers crying for their sons or wives and children mourning their dad and husband. Unfortunately, the sportscasters will cheer the loudest and set the example.

  • Therese

    My nephew is in Afghanistan right now and he told us he was a part of the operation that took Ben Laden down. This is what he has to say:

    “As Mark Twain once said, “We should never rejoice in the death of a fellow human being, but there have been some obituaries I have read with delight.”

    We do indeed read this obit with delight, yes?

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