[credit provider=”AP Images”]
Athletic apparel maker Champion has fired Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall and says it will not pay out the remainder of his endorsement contract that runs through 2015.Mendenhall was terminated because of controversial tweets he made earlier this week about Osama Bin Laden.
He questioned why people would celebrate his death, and also seemed to question whether bin Laden was even involved in the September 11th attacks.
We think this is a ridiculous overreaction by Champion. Mendenhall is a marginal star (at best) and even though he didn’t retract his comments, everyone would have forgotten about them in a couple weeks. Just like they did when he defended Adrian Petersen for comparing pro football to slavery. (An even more outrageous claim that Champion didn’t seem to notice or care about.)
And it’s also a free country, where people are allowed to have questionable, even offensive opinions. Yes, Champion also has the right not to defend those opinions, but they’re merely making a silly controversy much worse than it needs to be.