Rashard Mendenhall Dropped by Champion for Osama bin Laden Tweets
For those of you wondering how long it would be before Rashard Mendenhall started suffering monetary consequences for his Osama bin Laden tweets, we have your answer. It only took three days for sports apparel company Champion to drop Mendenhall.
Champion announced the news in a statement that was posted by Game On! The text of their full statement:
Champion is a strong supporter of the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall, who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers. 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. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best.
Couldn’t have put that better myself. Mendenhall tried to cover his butt with a “clarification” he wrote on his blog Wednesday, but he didn’t address his comment that he couldn’t believe an airplane took down the World Trade Centers. It’s that comment that loses me and most people. If I were in Champion’s position, I would have distanced myself with Mendenhall as well.
The good news is people have freedom of speech in this country. Unfortunately, you don’t have the freedom of consequence as Champion’s actions have shown us.