Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall stirred up controversy after making comments on May 2 via Twitter about the military shooting of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The 4-year veteran criticized people who celebrated bin Laden’s death, and questioned if bin Laden was really responsible for the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
“I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style,” Mendenhall said from his Twitter account. “We’ll never know what really happened.”
Mendenhall’s comments came in reaction to images of people celebrating the news of bin Laden being murdered by the U.S. military.
“What kind of person celebrates death?” Mendenhall Tweeted. “It’s amazing how people can HATE a man we never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side.”
Mendenhall continued to Tweet:
“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 Osama burn in hell and piss on his ashes, I ask how would God feel about your heart?”
Mendenhall finished his rant by Tweeting, “there isn’t an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to think.”
The Steelers organization hasn’t taken any disciplinary actions against Mendenhall for his comments, but did release a statement separating its self from the player’s opinion.
“I have not spoken to Rashard so it’s hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments,” Steelers president Art Rooney II stated. “The entire Steelers organization is proud of the job our military personnel has done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.”
The star tailback released a blog statement on May 4 further explaining his thoughts that were expressed via Twitter.
“First, I want people to understand I do not support bin Laden, or against USA. I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected…
“I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name.”