I was praying, wishing and hoping that this whole Rashard Mendenhall fiasco was not over and done with. It never seemed like all was said and it was a closed chapter after Champion dropped Mendenhall as a representative for their brand. It all went way too fast for my liking and my hypothesis was proven after it was announced Pittsburgh Steelers’ RB would be filing a suit against Champion for dropping him so quickly after he made his comments about Osama Bin Laden’s death and the praise of the loss of a life.
Seeking $1 million in damages from Champion’s parent company Hanesbrand’s Inc, the suit seems to exceed monetary concern. His attorney, Steven Thompson, stepped forth to make the claim that this suit carried much more meaning, as reported by ESPN.
“For Rashard, this really is not about the money. This is about whether he can express his opinion,” said Steven Thompson, a Chicago-based attorney representing Mendenhall.
If you read Mendenhall’s apology for the comments he made, the apology was not primarily directed towards his feeling about the subject. They were more so addressing the timing of his quotes. Why should he have been apologizing for how he felt about the public celebration of Bin Laden’s demise? Understanding that he allegedly caused thousands of families pain from the events of 9/11, I could see why he would be bothered at the parades thrown in his death’s honor.
The timing may have been off, but there was nothing wrong with him expressing his opinion on something he truly felt was out of line and exhibited bad character. Thompson also makes some very good arguments that Mendenhall has made racy comments about women and comparing slavery to the NFL and neither of those was responded to.
“Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other,” Mendenhall wrote.
About six weeks later, he tweeted that women who decline to perform oral sex on a partner should be aware that “It’s either gonna be you, OR some other chick.”
“Hanesbrands at no time prior to May 2011 suggested that it disagreed with Mr. Mendenhall’s comments or that his tweets were in any way inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand,” the lawsuit says.
We always criticize athletes for not standing up for the right things and always indulging in the pleasures that their lifestyles provide instead of making their voices heard about issues that really matter. Then, when they ultimately stand their ground on a public matter, they are ridiculed and told to stay in their lanes.
God bless America.
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