Reporting Ken Rice
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall isn’t happy with losing an endorsement deal.
KDKA-TV’s Ken Rice has learned that Mendenhall will sue Champion Athletic’s parent company, Hanesbrands, for ending his endorsement deal.
Champion cut ties with Mendenhall because of his controversial tweets that questioned the celebration of Osama bin Laden’s death in May.
On his official Twitter page, Mendenhall posted:
“What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people hate a man they never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side.”
“I’m not convinced he was even behind the attacks. We have really seen no evidence to prove it other than the government telling us.”
At the time of the termination, Champion released a statement, saying in part:
“While we respect Mr. Mendenhall’s right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship.”
A day after the controversial tweets, Mendenhall posted a blog explaining what he was trying to say.
In it, Mendenhall said he does not support Osama bin Laden and is not against the United States.