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Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall creates uproar with Twitter posts on bin Laden


Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall creates uproar with Twitter posts on bin Laden

Published: Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 3:44 PM     Updated: Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 3:55 PM
Rashard-Mendenhall-2011.jpgPittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, shown in a January file photo, is under fire for tweets about Osama bin Laden's death and a possible conspiracy in regard to the World Trade Center towers in New York. (The Associated Press)  

PITTSBURGH -- Rashard Mendenhallhas created a stir with comments made on his official Twitter pageregarding Osama bin Laden's death.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back on Monday tweeted: "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..."

Mendenhall didn't hold back, even making a reference to the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

The Steelers felt compelled to act. On Tuesday, team president Art Rooney II released a statement.

"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."

Mendenhall, who profiles himself as a "conversationalist and professional athlete" on his Twitter page, turned some heads in March, as well, when he supported a comment by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to "modern-day slavery."

"Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other," Mendenhall posted at the time.

Mendenhall is coming off a tremendous season, as he led the AFC champions in carries (324), rushing yards (1,273) and rushing touchdowns (13). He has 2,439 yards in three seasons since being drafted in the 2008 first round out of Illinois.

In the 2010 postseason, Mendenhall ran for 230 yards on 61 carries in three games with four touchdowns, as Pittsburgh defeated the Baltimore Ravens (31-24) and New York Jets (24-19), before falling to the Green Bay Packers 31-25 in the Super Bowl.

Among his other bin Laden tweets:

"I believe in God. I believe we're ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge."

"Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves."

"For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn ... I ask how would God feel about your heart?"

"There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think."

Mendenhall's string of tweets ended around 6 p.m. Monday. He has not tweeted since.

Sports radio talk shows in Pittsburgh -- and around the nation -- were fielding calls on Tuesday about his comments.

Mendenhall has 13,631 followers on Twitter, and he personally follows 66. Included in the group he's following is the Dalai Lama, comedian Sarah Silverman and the Park Community Church in Chicago.

Related topics: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Comment by Chuck Boldwyn on May 4, 2011 at 12:03am

It looks like he is being severely intimidated into giving up his 911 related statements, which show a tendency to be an advocate of the Truth Movement.

The Media must be spying onto his website, making a hullabaloo about nothing but his Constitutional Grarantee to his own 1st Amendment Free Speech.

I wish they would give my 911 research some publicity of any kind, even negative, just to get some more people to pay attention to my breakthrough research, just waiting for the rest of the world to learn the details of the destruction of the WTC Comples and what happened topeople, cars and building and  materials of up to a mile or maybe more, away from the original WTC Complex destruction.

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