Champion drops Mendenhall
Breaking News: Champion Products dropped Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall as their spokesman. They had just extended Mendenhall’s contract on Sunday, and then come Monday came a PR nightmare. Mendenhall 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…” He also tweeted, in reference to the 9/11 terror attacks: “We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”
He later apologized, but the damage was done. Now even though his career is on the rise (career high 1273 rushing yards and 13 TD’s in 2010), his mouth puts him on the drop. Read the excerpt, courtesy espn:
Champion sent the following statement to ESPN.com Friday:
“Champion is a strong supporter of the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall, who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers.
“While we respect Mr. Mendenhall’s right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best.”