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Mendenhall plans to sue endorser for dropping him

Super Bowl Football AP

Two months after Champion athletic gear dropped Rashard Mendenhall as an endorser in the wake of his comments about Osama Bin Laden’s death, the Steelers running back has decided to sue the company.

Darren Rovell of CNBC reports Mendenhall plans to sue HanesBrand, the parent company for Champion.

I’m not the legal expert here, but common sense dictates this is probably more trouble than it’s worth for Mendenhall.  It’s hard to imagine he won’t lose money going after the company, and he’s only giving more attention to the brand.  (And their stance, which the public agrees with. Which is why Champion made a show of dropping Mendenhall in the first place.)

Perhaps he’s just trying to keep the wallflower Steelers in the news.

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79 Responses to “Mendenhall plans to sue endorser for dropping him”
  1. schmitty2 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:29 PM

    It wasnt Champion that dropped you Rashard..it was the work of the devious U.S government

  2. dwntwnbadboy19 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:30 PM

    I would sue too, i am not a Steeler fan, but to get kicked to the curb for stating an opinion, is completly whacked!

  3. akismet-6c741005d0a7c7a14ea80865d3b389e9 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:30 PM

    As a Steeler: Shut up and hold on to the damn football.

  4. hobartbaker says: Jul 18, 2011 3:30 PM

    Dropped Rash like a doggy bag full of fresh wet poop in the trash can on the corner.

  5. corbinho says: Jul 18, 2011 3:32 PM

    drops the ball, now dropping his mind

  6. stinkfingers says: Jul 18, 2011 3:32 PM

    So companies don’t want to endorse a player that hates America?

    Shocker.

  7. realitypolice says: Jul 18, 2011 3:34 PM

    There is no cure for stupid.

    And before any of you armchair Constitutional Law experts get all hot and bothered about Champion violating his first amendment right to free speech- that only applies to the government.

  8. mkbane says: Jul 18, 2011 3:34 PM

    Smooth move genius, that will get you plenty of future endorsements.

  9. evolmonkey says: Jul 18, 2011 3:35 PM

    Mendenhall.. you’re a Douche Bag.

  10. buckhuckster says: Jul 18, 2011 3:37 PM

    Dang! I was hoping to see Al Qaeda sport their new Champion military attire during their Al Jazeera broadcasts.

  11. philyeagles5 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:42 PM

    whats his case? “Champion stopped giving me their money, so I’ll just sue them”

  12. gothwolf says: Jul 18, 2011 3:42 PM

    I’m sure new endorsers are going to line up to sign him after this.

  13. xxwhodatxx says: Jul 18, 2011 3:42 PM

    What an idiot.

  14. jersey73 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:45 PM

    It’s a government conspiracy against Rashard that Champion dropped him.

  15. david7590 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:46 PM

    They’ll settle to avoid attorney fees, but if they didn’t, he Mendenhall would have no case at all. His comments could have potentially caused harm to the image of their brand, thus providing just cause for the termination of the deal. Free speech means you can not be arrested for your views, you can still be fired if you make your employer look stupid.

  16. paulieorkid says: Jul 18, 2011 3:46 PM

    Mendenhall just doesn’t get it. Why he made his initial comments on bin Laden to now suing Champion – he just has absolutely no clue whatsoever.

    It’s astonishing someone can be that confused about the simplest of concepts …. yet he is, and he fancies himself a thinker.

    Unreal.

  17. justanotherdummy says: Jul 18, 2011 3:46 PM

    Has anybody explained to him that an employer can fire an employee for most any reason they choose? I do not know everything about Employment Law, but I am guessing he is going to end up losing money on this one. Can’t fix stupid.

  18. raiderfankirk says: Jul 18, 2011 3:47 PM

    What an idiot. Steelers keep the headlines coming.

  19. berniemadoffsides says: Jul 18, 2011 3:48 PM

    Maybe the ever-so-eloquent James Harrison will be his lawyer…?

  20. nyctexan says: Jul 18, 2011 3:51 PM

    Rashart, I had completely forgotten about your moronic comments, but now, thanks to your dumbass, it’s all fresh in my mind again.

  21. steelerfan77 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:51 PM

    Please can the Steelers players stay away from the news for a while? I just want to play football and win another trophy.

  22. cured76 says: Jul 18, 2011 3:51 PM

    “Sometimes it’s better to be silent and just look like a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  23. bungals4life says: Jul 18, 2011 3:53 PM

    is it just me or is this site getting very slanted in how the present the news. I liked when we were just given the news, not the writer’s own humble opinion

  24. packersareandwillalwaysbebetterthanthebears says: Jul 18, 2011 3:53 PM

    What a joke.

  25. contract says: Jul 18, 2011 3:54 PM

    What a tard!

  26. ididntsaythat says: Jul 18, 2011 3:57 PM

    This guy truly is an idiot!

  27. Deb says: Jul 18, 2011 3:58 PM

    Well, I guess the Steelers haven’t concluded their stupid player tricks for this off-season.

    Insert emoticon of smiley banging head against wall.

  28. deweyaxewound says: Jul 18, 2011 4:00 PM

    I’m also suing an ex-girlfriend for dropping me…
    (pain & suffering, emotional distress)

    …chances are I’ll have just as much luck with that as Mendenhall does.

    (Then again, some dumb broad won a lawsuit for coffee actually being hot, so…)

  29. orakpownd says: Jul 18, 2011 4:00 PM

    Mendenhall …your not entitled to endorsements…donk.

  30. stevincinci says: Jul 18, 2011 4:04 PM

    You guys do a good enough job keeping the Steelers in the news. If I didn’t know better you’d think they signed your paycheck. Get off their stick already.

  31. arrrguendo says: Jul 18, 2011 4:06 PM

    Rashard Mendenhall, you are an idiot.

  32. bhindenemylines says: Jul 18, 2011 4:06 PM

    Smart move, Rashad.

    I’m sure other companies that had you on their radar for future endorsement deals will be lining up to sign you immediately knowing that they have future litigation to look forward to.

    End sarcasm.

  33. granadafan says: Jul 18, 2011 4:12 PM

    Mendenhall is learning a very important lesson about Free Speech. No, the govt can’t jail him for his stupidity and offensive speech, but there are consequences to ill-spoken words. He has a right to say what he wants, and Hanes has a right to spend their money as they see fit as do the consumers.

  34. leroysbutler says: Jul 18, 2011 4:15 PM

    Steelers: Nothing but Rapists and morons.

  35. 3octaveFart says: Jul 18, 2011 4:15 PM

    Wow, nothing brings out the venom like a Steelers story, even if it’s just about a player running his mouth. There’s been a half dozen arrests in the last two weeks but you don’t hear such righteous indignation about those – and why?
    Only because when it’s a Steeler, it involves players on a team that has more rings than yours does.
    Lame.

  36. marcus158 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:17 PM

    Don’t Champion make crappy NBA vests that fall to pieces after a couple of washes?

  37. whitemike55 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:18 PM

    Where is his agent when he needs him most?

    Oh wait, his attorney got to him first.

    Dumbass!

  38. scoops1 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:19 PM

    such a great picture

  39. fargovikesfan says: Jul 18, 2011 4:25 PM

    This just in, being an idiot can cost you money…

    No way Champion settles. It would open up a huge can of worms where any spokesperson could sue if a company drops them. Vick’s sponsors dropped him after the dogfighting thing, but he kept his mouth shut and now is getting some of them back. Tiger lost a bunch of them, he’ll eventually get some back. I’m sure the endorsement deals will be lining up for Mendenhall after this stunt. Maybe he can be the spokesperson for the “____ for Dummies” books

  40. kom2k10 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:25 PM

    This is the typical mindset of an NFL player… You should be able to say and do whatever you want and there should be NO CONSEQUENCES! The league shouldn’t fine you, and a corporation shouldn’t drop you either!

    Sorry guys, it’s the real world. You can’t call your boss the “devil” and a racist… or support a known and self-admitted terrorsist and not expect there to be reprecussions. Another reason why I support the owners… They don’t tend to make idiotic claims like the players do…

  41. mvp43 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:28 PM

    You know what Rashard……………Just as you have the right to say as you wish, we have the right to think what you said was stupid. And Champion has the right to protect its investment……

    When will an athlete ever just accept responsibility for their actions.

  42. saturn1111 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:40 PM

    Dear Sheeples,

    1. Mendenhall didn’t say he supports Bin Laden or his views. He said he doesn’t think it’s very healthy for human beings to celebrate the death of another human being.

    2. Mendenhall didn’t say 9-11 didn’t happen. He said that he doesn’t think that the buildings fell because planes crashed into them.

    3. If you have attention spans long enough to watch this 10 minute youtube with an open mind, you might understand why he and lots of other critical thinkers have doubts about what happened that day.

    4. Depending on the contract he signed with Champion, his lawsuit may or may not be unfounded. But that wouldn’t be because his opinion is either right or wrong. It would be because he has done something in the public sphere that is counter to the image that Champion wants its products to convey.

    5. I quiver at the prospect of having an overwhelming majority of thumbs down comments for my “anti-American” sentiments.

  43. firstroyal says: Jul 18, 2011 4:43 PM

    If there was a judge dumb enough to rule in favor of him- would that mean I could start a campaign against my employer on the internet and then stand behind freedom of speech? That would really be a game changer wouldnt it?

  44. CKL says: Jul 18, 2011 4:45 PM

    To the tune of “Papa Don’t Preach”:

    Rashard don’t tweet
    You’re in trouble deep
    Rashard don’t tweet…Tomlin’s losing sleep
    Champion’s made up it’s mind
    It’s dropping you, baby
    It’s gonna drop you baby
    OOO yeah…

    What a travishamockery…he couldn’t leave bad enough alone.

  45. paul197343 says: Jul 18, 2011 4:46 PM

    The Steelers are the new Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders…You know…Those “classy” organizations

  46. anarchopurplism says: Jul 18, 2011 4:47 PM

    What does the contract say? What was the remaining value of said contract?

    Those answers would determine whether or not the move was politically stupid or not.

    Another post for another day………..

    Clearly the guy is probably not going to get another endorsement deal, so maybe it was a good financial move on his part.

    I thought the language on these sorts of deals is written so a company can drop you the minute your marketability becomes unpalatable, ie Tiger Woods.

  47. goldeelox says: Jul 18, 2011 5:03 PM

    Next up: Clay Matthews for making him fumble.

  48. frankdatank23 says: Jul 18, 2011 5:09 PM

    Well he hasnt retracted or apoligized for those comments…. hes damn near going down with them. In Flames. I hardly agree with him and also agree he’s a moron but ya gotta respect him. He didnt get forced into apologizing for what he truly believes in, like most would. You cant judge him for an opinion, but you can cut ties with him professionally. Whether that breached a contract is up to the courts.

  49. abengalfan says: Jul 18, 2011 5:15 PM

    Starting to appear that Rashard’s lawyer has an idiot for a client.

  50. mkbane says: Jul 18, 2011 5:15 PM

    Shouldn’t he be suing James Harrison for his comments about his fumbling in Men’s Journal?

  51. deadmanwalking47 says: Jul 18, 2011 5:27 PM

    they can fire him for whatever reason other than for the color of his skin,that they can come up with! they acted with in their rights,he was under contract to them,and could have done damage to their product.he’ll lose this quickly if it goes to court!

  52. roxtar10 says: Jul 18, 2011 5:28 PM

    I would sue too, i am not a Steeler fan, but to get kicked to the curb for stating an opinion, is completly whacked!

    ——–
    Problem is, they’re not paying the brain-trust, Rashard for his opinion, they’re paying him to play football and shut up.
    He missed the mark.

  53. halo81 says: Jul 18, 2011 5:36 PM

    As I’ve said before, if I were the Steelers I’d rid myself of him. I don’t care how good he was. Find someone to trade him to … whatever.

  54. schmitty2 says: Jul 18, 2011 5:49 PM

    CKL says:
    Jul 18, 2011 4:45 PM
    To the tune of “Papa Don’t Preach”:

    Rashard don’t tweet
    You’re in trouble deep
    Rashard don’t tweet…Tomlin’s losing sleep
    Champion’s made up it’s mind
    It’s dropping you, baby
    It’s gonna drop you baby
    OOO yeah…

    What a travishamockery…he couldn’t leave bad enough

    Wow, you have a lot of time on your hands!

  55. 1bigtex says: Jul 18, 2011 6:23 PM

    @saturn1111

    So Mendenhall doesn’t believe that the towers fell because of the burning of thousands of gallons of Jet A fuel. Well, as a construction professional, I’ll gladly look at his engineering credentials and then debate that point with him. As to people celebrating the death of bin Laden, the guy was the driving force behind events that have cost the country about $4 trillion (Bush was just a bit off with that $20 to $40 billion estimate) and thousands and thousands of lost or damaged lives. The world is a better place with him gone. Surely, few would debate that.

    Mendenhall was stupid for making the statements in the first place. Public figures need to be much smarter. Should he follow through with the planned lawsuit, it will simply prove that he hasn’t learned much from his initial mistakes.

  56. steelcurtainn says: Jul 18, 2011 6:23 PM

    Dont waste your time. They have crappy products anyways. Their products should be called Loser athletic gear instead of champion. I understand tho its the Principle of the matter.

  57. 808raiderinparadise says: Jul 18, 2011 6:26 PM

    The Steelers win games, no arguement there, but how do you have a team with worse behavior than the bengals and win so much? I hope they fall flat this year after all this ridiculous BS.

    Next point: If I was sponsored by Champion, I wouldn’t if they dropped me because then everyone else would find out I was sponsored by Champion. Champion?! That’s worse than Favres Wranglers.

  58. 808raiderinparadise says: Jul 18, 2011 6:27 PM

    The Steelers win games, no arguement there, but how do you have a team with worse behavior than the bengals and win so much? I hope they fall flat this year after all this ridiculous BS.

    Next point: If I was sponsored by Champion, I wouldn’t sue if they dropped me because then everyone else would find out I was sponsored by Champion in the first place, lol. Champion?! That’s worse than Favres Wranglers.

  59. djrando7 says: Jul 18, 2011 6:45 PM

    What do you know, another Steelers running his mouth. So CRAZY!

  60. frankiefiveangels says: Jul 18, 2011 6:47 PM

    If this is true, Mendenhall has officially become the most pompous, self entitled, buffoon in all of sports, and that’s hard to do. Instead of accepting responsibility for the stupid things he said, he is going to sue and claim, of course, it’s someone else’s fault he’s out a few bucks and Mendenhall is the “victim”. Michael Phelps lost tens of millions for being caught with a bong pipe and never blamed anyone else or sued anyone to my knowledge. Mendenhall is a great example of an athlete who is not nearly as clever or smart as he or his enablers think.

  61. txbossman says: Jul 18, 2011 6:59 PM

    Nothing like backing up stupid with more stupid.

  62. quadropheniac10 says: Jul 18, 2011 7:12 PM

    Funny thing is, Rashard’s one of the few critical thinkers in the NFL. I’m not saying I agree with everything he says, just that he seems to actually take the time to form his own beliefs about the world around him. From a personality standpoint, I’d much rather have a guy like Mendenhall, or on the other end of the spectrum from the NBA world Spencer Hawes (a Rush Limbaugh conservative), on my team than a guy like DeSean Jackson, who probably doesn’t even know what Al Qaeda is. Please don’t blast a guy for questioning authority and our government, because hell, what’s less American than punishing and shaming those who espouse their political opinions? It’s one of the main reasons we formed this country for Christ’s sake!

  63. corvusrex96 says: Jul 18, 2011 7:13 PM

    Sorry Mendenhall I personally look forward to commemorating “Uno de Mayo” every year.

    Don’t worry the celebrating won’t be too over the top , just go to the bar and order 2 shots with a splash of water.

    Cheers !

  64. txhc says: Jul 18, 2011 7:20 PM

    This guy isn’t very smart, is he? It’s getting pretty funny. Keep the entertainment coming, Pissburgh!

  65. corvusrex96 says: Jul 18, 2011 7:49 PM

    “hell, what’s less American than punishing and shaming those who espouse their political opinions? ”

    Well I guess Mendenhall is less of an American b/c he actually WAS “shaming those who espouse their political opinions”
    On May 1st when people in this country sponataniously took to the street to show their support for the military who finally took down public enemy #1 the “Patriotic” Mendenhall could not stand this show of political opinion.

    So please don’t confuse Mendenhall with an actual critical thinker, when he is merely a malcontented contrarian

  66. frankvzappa says: Jul 18, 2011 8:13 PM

    At least somebody in this world is fighting for the right to speak the truth and not be ostracized by a bunch of brainwashed sheep, regardless of what all you brainwashed sheep say.

  67. quadropheniac10 says: Jul 18, 2011 8:19 PM

    “On May 1st when people in this country sponataniously took to the street to show their support for the military who finally took down public enemy #1 the “Patriotic” Mendenhall could not stand this show of political opinion.”

    I get your point. I wasn’t so much referring to those who took issue with what he said and voiced that disagreement. What irked me were the people saying “just stfu and play football,” as if athletes, or actors, or other public figures can’t voice their opinions just as everyone else does (especially internet commenters).

  68. corvusrex96 says: Jul 18, 2011 8:52 PM

    @quadropheniac10

    You are correct actors, players, other public figures do not have to tow the line or drink the kool-aid. In fact it is often good if some of them don’t.
    With that said if you have a public profile, thus a larger audience for your views you should be responsible in voicing them.
    Thus I have no issue with him voicing displeasure over celebrating a death , though I disagree and think the celebration was more about a military success than about a killing but that is OK.

    Where I think he becomes very irresponsible is treading into the 9/11 conspiracy area. Just stating views as if they were fact is what that pig Rosie O’Donnell did. “inside job”.

    A public figure should at least consider the damage that words can cause.

  69. 1bigtex says: Jul 18, 2011 9:16 PM

    @ frankvzappa

    Do you have a preferred brand of aluminum foil to make your hats from? The voices can probably still reach through your computer screen though.

  70. saturn1111 says: Jul 18, 2011 9:49 PM

    @bigtext….

    and by the way…that’s *architects,* not politicians, explaining this stuff. Some of them are even American.

    The horror…

  71. axespray says: Jul 18, 2011 10:13 PM

    There’s time to be a liberal, times to be a conservative, then there’s times to boss up and be an american…

    right now on behalf of the USA, “SHUT UP RASHARD!”

  72. pigeonpea says: Jul 18, 2011 10:19 PM

    quadropheniac10 says:
    Funny thing is, Rashard’s one of the few critical thinkers in the NFL. I’m not saying I agree with everything he says, just that he seems to actually take the time to form his own beliefs about the world around him.

    I wouldn’t call it “critical thinking” as much as parroting what the homeless-looking idiots from 911truth.com spout out on the streets of Manhattan every day.

    Here’s critical thinking for you:

    A 300,000 lbs aircraft hit a skyscaper near dead center at 500 miles an hour, spilling thousands of gallons of burning jet fuel into the core of the building and causing an internal fire that burns in excess of 2000 degrees.

    Now, a critical thinker can understand it was nothing other than the kinetic energy transferred by the impact of the crash, coupled with an internal fire that would quite easily weaken the iron structure the building is constructed from to cause the weight of the top half of the building to pancake through the lower half. However, if you are Mendenhall, it was obviously holograms, death rays and an alien conspiracy that caused it to happen.

  73. infowarsaj says: Jul 18, 2011 10:38 PM

    I find it funny that everyone assumes he is suing over the First Amendment.

    Why would you not assume breach of contract as opposed to 1st Amendment? In a breach of contract situation, it is fair to assume that there is a standard clause which give Champion the right to terminate the contract for various reasons.

    But how can people here assume that there’s not another issue that has legal merit. For example, what if Champion had the right to terminate but the deal said he still gets 1/3 of the money as oppose to 100%. Then he may actually legally be owed money.

    Also, people are posting as if Mendenhall is constructing the legal argument and not his lawyer. No lawyer is going to bring a 1st Amendment argument against a private company.

    On a final note, thank God there are still people in this country that question the government. This is a good thing. While the accusation may seem a bit out there, we are living in possibly the most corrupt era of government in our nation’s history right now (Bush-Obama era). Corporations have destroyed free-market capitalism and dominate our politicians. I don’t know what happened on 9/11, but quite frankly, when you combine corporate greed and big government, I would not put anything past them.

  74. infowarsaj says: Jul 18, 2011 10:50 PM

    Pigeonpea,

    That theory has holes in it as well, because there was a third WTC building (WTC Building 7), in which a plane did not crash into it.

    I’m not saying I think it was an Inside Job, but this is actually a much more complicated situation than meets the naked eye.

    I do not believe it was an Inside Job, but there is enough out there to question it.

    Whether liberal or conservative, we do not owe the U.S. Govt. the type of deference that we owe the troops. These are 2 different entities.

    We owe it to the troops to question the Federal Govt. regardless of political party even if the accusation seems absurd, far fetched, or whatever.

    I do not see this as liberal or conservative debate, but instead, getting back to what America is all about. The U.S. Govt. and USA are NOT 1 in the same. The U.S. Govt. entered into a contract with the Several States and the States ratified the contract on behalf of We the People.

    Therefore accusations toward the U.S. Govt. do not equal hate for America. This is Federal Govt. propaganda.

  75. saturn1111 says: Jul 18, 2011 10:52 PM

    to all of you who think it’s actually possible for that much fuel to make those buildings fall over the way they did…google “richard gage.”

  76. etabaka says: Jul 18, 2011 11:32 PM

    I’m not saying the government did it, but to completely deny the possibility is just plain ignorant.

    The U.S. had definitive knowledge that an attack was imminent on Pearl Harbor, yet did nothing to prevent it. But once the attack happened the entire country was geared for war.

    Look at the control the government got over the people with the Patriot Act, and then there is the department of homeland security, which is now one the largest federal departments, and has been audited by our own government and found to be wasting funds on things such as ipods and boats that cannot be accounted for.

    I’m not saying the U.S. did it, but I can’t tell you for sure they didn’t either…

  77. Deb says: Jul 19, 2011 12:18 AM

    The First Amendment isn’t an absolute. The principle is that the people cannot be silenced by the government. That does not mean anyone can say anything anytime. Private enterprise can restrict free speech anyway it wants. Employers can set rules that workers will be fired for making racist or sexist remarks. Restauranteurs can refuse service to rude customers. You can tell people to leave your home if they insult your football team.

    I don’t agree with Rashard’s views, but he’s not some unAmerican subversive. He was chatting on Twitter like you’d talk to friends in a pub. He didn’t know a bunch of bored media vultures would turn his random comments into national news. He has a right to think what he wants–who cares? But what he should have learned–and obviously hasn’t–is that being outspoken on controversial issues can have negative consequences. He’s entitled to speak his piece … and Champion is entitled to decide his image no longer serves their brand.

  78. danrooneyii says: Jul 19, 2011 7:04 AM

    The same people who made Loose Change is a genius will claim Mendenhall is a douche only because he’s a Steeler. Still salty.

  79. melonnhead says: Jul 19, 2011 10:26 AM

    3. If you have attention spans long enough to watch this 10 minute youtube with an open mind, you might understand why he and lots of other critical thinkers have doubts about what happened that day.

    ————————————————————–

    Oh, so he’s a “critical thinker” haha

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