Rashard Mendenhall Scrutinized for His Tweets? I Thought This Was America!

Neil TillmanContributor IIIMay 6, 2011

Rashard Mendenhall scoring a touchdown in SB XLV
Rashard Mendenhall scoring a touchdown in SB XLVJamie Squire/Getty Images

The United States crossed off the number one suspect on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list as of 11:15pm ET Sunday night. The world’s largest manhunt was over with the killing of Osama bin Laden. Celebrations nation wide immediately consumed on college campus’ and local pubs with chants of, “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!”


Except in Rashard Mendenhall’s home in Illinois, where there was no celebrating, no chanting, but instead only questionable tweeting. Mendenhall probably watched the news coverage that showed Ground Zero in New York, where many gathered and cheered of the death that brought so much chaos ten years ago. 


Mendenhall watched, presumably wondering aloud, “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…”


Apparently Mendenhall didn’t watch the news more often when he was 13 years old. Who is he referring to as “we?” It’s amazing because 10 years ago, the news played a recovered VHS tape that bin Laden and his friends made where they were celebrating the deaths of over 6,000 innocent Americans. The only Americans that weren’t innocent were the New York firemen that lost their lives, knowingly, trying to save civilians trapped in the buildings.


Americans, actually, heard on the news many times that “one side” made several VHS recordings prompting more terror attacks and a few released gruesome murders of captured Americans.  However, Mendenhall and the “we” he is referring to weren’t watching the news those nights.


Mendenhall also wanted to let DKeller in on something that he and other conspiracy theorists already knew, “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”


Who else knows everything Mendenhall knows? Please tell me it’s Tom Cruise, John Travolta or Alec Baldwin. Of course, many probably missed Mendenhall’s Easter tweets where he might have said, “We’ll never know what really happened.  I just have a hard time believing a man can rise after being dead for three days.”


Mendenhall was not trying to offend anybody with his tweets. He really just wanted people to think. After a couple days of thinking of his tweets, I have come to the conclusion that he is an idiot or like a really good comedian, he has impeccable timing. 


Champion Sports came to the conclusion that they will no longer be paying him to wear their apparel. This is America, man, ask Tiger Woods why his image cost him endorsements. He can cheat on his wife if he wants to, but don’t expect his image to uphold.


Wait, I thought this was America? I thought you have freedom of speech? I thought that’s why our troops are overseas fighting, was for our First Amendment?


Yeah, I’m pretty sure nobody is stoning Mendenhall right now, only verbally through tweets and blogs. If they are stoning him literally, then that is assault and they should be arrested, this is America after-all. 


Where does Mendenhall rank in with all of the stupid athlete comments or actions? 


Well, not nearly as high as Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, who in 1996 refused to stand for the National Anthem before a Denver Nuggets basketball game. This action led the Nuggets to release him after the season, only to be picked by Sacramento Kings the following year. Where else but in California could Mahmoud play for? 15 years later he’s still an idiot. I’d play basketball in Communist China and learn their anthem by heart if they paid me millions of dollars to do so.


Mendenhall’s also not as bad as wild relief pitcher John Rocker, who made a statement about riding in a New York subway that offended many New Yorkers, among others. His comments were racist, sexist and homophobic. Yep, the trifecta for hate remarks. Of course people booed and cheered him, because, “I thought this was America, can’t you use a lewd term in America if you wanted to?” Yeah John, that’s why fans reserve the right to yell whatever ‘hate’ remarks they want towards you.


To be fair, Rocker and Abdul-Rauf weren’t stoned. Neither was really that good and they didn’t last too long in their league afterwards. What owner would want controversy and a guy that can’t throw strikes on their team?


I’d say Mendenhall might be closer to Jeremy Shockey and his insensitive comments. Shockey was only 22 years old when he made an appearance on the Howard Stern Show. Shockey made homophobic comments claiming, “if I knew there was a gay guy on my college football team, I probably wouldn't, you know, stand for it.” He continued, “You know, I think, you know, they're going to be in the shower with us and stuff, so I don't think that's gonna work. That's not gonna work, you know.”


Those comments prompted Shockey to be verbally assaulted. Shockey had to take a step back, mature for one second and apologize. He was young and dumb. He also was on the Howard Stern Show, which isn’t necessarily known for being classy. 


As for Mendenhall, he had really bad timing. He also had really bad wording, as oppose to posing a question for debate, Mendenhall tweeted as though it was debatable that bin Laden was a terrorist. He, too, must take a step back from tweeting controversial topics and grow up.


There is no sense for athletes or actors to act like they are political analysts. There also was no sense for Rush Limbaugh to be on ESPN. Whoever hired Limbaugh should have been fired along side him. 


How long do you suspect Mendenhall will be scrutinized for his comments? I personally will not let him out of the second round of my fantasy football draft. For that, I will probably take flak and be ridiculed by my buddies. So what? I want to win.


Looking at Pittsburgh’s schedule I’m circling week 1 at Baltimore. This will be the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Baltimore is only 40 miles away from Washington D.C. I have a small feeling that those fans might be somewhat patriotic that day. 


I am sending myself a tweet reminder, “What kind of fan celebrates a man’s injury?”