PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was the subject of controversy over remarks made on his Twitter account Monday.
On Wednesday, Mendenhall set up a blog to better explain what he was trying to say on Twitter.
The title of the post is “Clarification.”
In it, Mendenhall said he does not support Osama bin Laden and is not against the United States.
He also said he understands how his comments may have inflicted pain on those affected by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. Not just in the US, 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.”
One of the tweets that received some of the harshest criticism said, ”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…”
In his blog post, Mendenhall offers an explanation of the 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 maintains throughout the post that his comments were not meant to cause harm. They were made in an attempt to stir up conversation about the topic and to make people think about their actions.
“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.”
On Tuesday, Steelers President Art Rooney II issued a statement regarding the tweets.
“I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. 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.”