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James Harrison Rips Roger Goodell, Ben Roethlisberger, Rashard Mendenhall

Where do we even begin with this one?  For starters, James Harrison is an idiot — but we already knew that.  This is the same guy who constantly cries about the NFL’s rules and even pretended he was going to retire rather than try to play without illegally hitting someone.

Maybe all that built up frustration is what caused the Steelers linebacker to call Roger Goodell “stupid”, a “dictator,” a “devil,” a “crook,” and a gay slur in a recent interview with Men’s Journal.  Perhaps the rules are why he was so angry he called Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison “clowns” while bashing the Patriots for stealing signals.  And maybe — just maybe — that is why he decided to call Brian Cushing “juiced out of his mind.”

The more likely scenario is that the guy is just a headcase.  However, there is still such a thing as crossing the line.  If the aforementioned trash talk doesn’t constitute crossing the line in your eyes, Harrison ripping on his own current teammates probably will.  Despite having won a Super Bowl and appeared in another with the people he was bashing, Harrison did that as well.

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Enough of the Forced Apologies, Reggie Bush, Rashard Mendenhall, Andrew Bynum

Wthe immediacy of modern technology, it is way too easy to write something or disseminate information that will be regretted about 3½ seconds later. (Please see: many of the other articles I have written.) Imagine if the requisite hackneyed apology existed throughout history. Nero: “Perhaps in retrospect, I probably should have done something else but play a lousy musical instrument while Rome burned to the ground.” Ivan The Terrible: “I got a bad rap. It’s not like I chose that nickname.” Attila the Hun: “I’m sorry for my actions. This is not how a barbarian is supposed to act.” Fortunately for these figures, immediacy of communication was a little spotty. Perhaps if there were YouTube clips of the Massacre of Novgorod or CNN footage of the Battle of Châlons, then things would have been different. (Feel free to Google the references.) Anyway, the recordings would be grainy. Flash forward to the present generation, where actions are posted and relived on the Internet before the left brain has had a chance to figure out what the right brain just did.

Sports figures give modern society innumerable chances to teach lessons to others by repeatedly completing the sentence, “See what happens when you…” To break it down into perplexes and oh no’s, the general playbook of athlete stupidity usually reads the same way: 1) Commit Stupidity 2) Wait for public backlash 3) Make heart-felt/gun-in-the-back apology at the request of media/PR person 4) Enumerate the number of people and entities you’ve let down and how you’d like to learn/move on from said foolishness and no longer answer any questions on the topic so as to not revisit the past (where have you gone, George Santayana?).

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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.

Rashard Mendenhall Clarifies Osama bin Laden Tweets, Leaves out Airplane Part

Running back Rashard Mendenhall was already well known to football fans before the weekend. After bin Laden was killed and Mendenhall made controversial comments about his death on his twitter account, he became infamous amongst non-sports fans.

For nearly a 24-hour span on Tuesday, Mendenhall’s name was atop Google’s chart for most searched term. That’s probably not the way he wanted to become known, but it’s what happened. And now that he’s been roundly criticized and hammered by the public and even his owners, he’s taken to his blog to try and clarify things. Here’s what he wrote:

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Rashard Mendenhall’s Incredibly Ignorant 9/11, Osama bin Laden Tweets

The fact that we live in a world where a few strokes of a keypad can change the entire perception of a person never ceases to amaze me. With social media tools like Twitter at their disposal, athletes and celebrities like Rashard Mendenhall can destroy their public image in less than 140 characters. The ease of the task does not, however, excuse what Mendenhall had to say on his Twitter account Monday night.

After witnessing acts like Phillies fans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden and college students taking to the streets to party upon hearing the news, Mendenhall decided to share his thoughts on 9/11 and the man who was almost certainly responsible for the attacks.

“What kind of person celebrates death?” Mendenhall tweeted. “It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”

While most of us disagree with that, I suppose it isn’t that bad if you are someone who believes in forgiveness and is against death as a form of punishment.  Fair enough, but what Mendenhall wrote next is truly mind-boggling.

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Video: Rashard Mendenhall Humps Big Ben After Kneel Down

To say Rashard Mendenhall was excited for Pittsburgh’s AFC Championship Game win over the Jets would be an understatement. The punishing running back decided to celebrate a kneel down that ran out the clock by treating Ben Roethlisberger’s leg like it were a fire hydrant. Check out this video of Rashard Mendenhall humping Big Ben, as pointed out to LBS by contributor Blackjack:

Maybe someone needs to remind him that cameras catch everything during NFL games — everything. Or maybe he was just so darn excited he didn’t care. It’s probably the latter, and I’m sure it doesn’t bother Steelers fans; the team now has a chance to win its seventh Super Bowl title. Not too shabby.