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In lawsuit, Mendenhall invokes Charlie Sheen’s 9/11 comments

Charlie Sheen Hosts Anger Management Wrap Party At Mixology 101 Getty Images

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall was dropped as an endorser of the athletics apparel company Champion after he expressed doubts on Twitter about whether Osama bin Laden was really behind the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and criticized people who celebrated bin Laden’s death. That was more than a year ago, but Mendenhall is still engaged in a legal battle with Champion’s parent company, and he’s comparing himself to Charlie Sheen as he argues that his contract was violated.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Mendenhall’s lawsuit against HanesBrands, Inc. argues that Sheen was allowed to keep working as a celebrity endorser for the company after he expressed similar doubts about whether bin Laden was behind 9/11. Mendenhall’s lawyers want to see documents that show how the company has treated “endorsers such as Mr. Sheen.”

“If HBI treated Mendenhall differently than other endorsers without a good reason to do so, this evidence would be relevant to show that HBI’s termination was unreasonable and arbitrary,” Mendenhall’s lawyers argued in a motion to compel the company to produce the documents. Mendenhall’s lawyers add that there were “similarities between the public’s response to Mr. Sheen’s comments and those made by Mr. Mendenhall.”

HanesBrands argues that Sheen’s former contract with the company is irrelevant to Mendenhall’s case because Mendenhall signed a different morals clause than Sheen did, and it’s Mendenhall’s morals clause that the company invoked when it dropped him as a sponsor.

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25 Responses to “In lawsuit, Mendenhall invokes Charlie Sheen’s 9/11 comments”
  1. blacknole08 says: Nov 13, 2012 1:34 PM

    Call me a tree-hugging liberal and thumbs down all you want, but I have no problem with the comments Mendenhall made in regards to 9/11.

    He’s entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to bash him or agree with him.

  2. bambi19td says: Nov 13, 2012 1:43 PM

    Put him on IR (Mendenhall, not Sheen).

    On second thought, put them both on IR and leave them there.

  3. huskersrock1 says: Nov 13, 2012 1:43 PM

    Two different public personas.

    Mendenhall is a pro football player. Charlie Sheen is a totally debauched, lovable, drunk (and drug user). Charlie Sheen could say almost anything and get away with it.

    The key is how much perceived damage has the statements made to the brand. For one reason or another Charlie adds value to the brand no matter what he does.

    Not so for the rest of us mortals. We will, however, probably live longer if that is any consolation.

  4. 66rick says: Nov 13, 2012 1:44 PM

    I bleed black and gold, but I “CAN’T WAIT” until Mr. Mendenfumble is gone from this team.

  5. wtfchiefs says: Nov 13, 2012 1:45 PM

    If you, at any time in your life, have been compared to Charlie Sheen……..well…..

  6. EJ says: Nov 13, 2012 1:50 PM

    Here’s the thing though, everybody already knows not to take anything Charlie Sheen says to heart. The guy is a drugged up drunk with more mental problems than Brody from Showtime’s Homeland.

  7. samanthasteeleruinedmyqb says: Nov 13, 2012 1:50 PM

    So his argument is he is just as crazy as Charlie Sheen. I guess I can’t argue with that.

  8. eagleswin says: Nov 13, 2012 1:53 PM

    blacknole08 says:
    Nov 13, 2012 1:34 PM
    Call me a tree-hugging liberal and thumbs down all you want, but I have no problem with the comments Mendenhall made in regards to 9/11.

    He’s entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to bash him or agree with him.

    ——————————

    I wholeheartedly agree that he has the right to say what he did whether i agree with it or not. On the flip side of that, if he is being paid to project an image and he no longer projects the image they want associated with their products, they are entitled to drop him.

    He didn’t go to jail, he lost endorsement money. This is not a freedom of speech issue.

  9. alewatcher says: Nov 13, 2012 1:56 PM

    blacknole08 says: Nov 13, 2012 1:34 PM

    Call me a tree-hugging liberal and thumbs down all you want, but I have no problem with the comments Mendenhall made in regards to 9/11.

    He’s entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to bash him or agree with him.

    ————

    He’s entitled to his opinion; he’s not entitled to his own facts.

  10. patriotenvy says: Nov 13, 2012 1:56 PM

    blacknole08 says:
    Nov 13, 2012 1:34 PM
    Call me a tree-hugging liberal and thumbs down all you want, but I have no problem with the comments Mendenhall made in regards to 9/11.

    He’s entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to bash him or agree with him.

    ————————————
    Of course unless you sign a contract and take money under the condition that you will behave a certain way. Did you even read the article?

  11. crownofthehelmet says: Nov 13, 2012 2:01 PM

    To say something dumb is one thing. To sue the company that dropped you for that comment is just greedy.

    You messed up – man up and move on.

  12. flboyindallas says: Nov 13, 2012 2:02 PM

    What has this country become when it’s a violation of “morals” to disbelieve an official account of an event due to a lack of unimpeachable evidence? Have we stopped thinking for ourselves? Have we lost the ability of independent assessment and critical thought? This herd mentality based on shared emotions is an extremely troubling trend in our nation.

    This isn’t about patriotism. In fact, I would argue that the founding fathers of this nation would find more in common with Mendenhall’s skeptical truth-seeking approach than they would with the lemming-like stampede over the cliff of reason that’s evident in a large part of our population. Submission to peer pressure was never an American value and never will be. It’s a foreign concept to true patriots.

  13. fofofotey says: Nov 13, 2012 2:03 PM

    He’s entitled to his opinion and Champion is entitled to fire him for them.

  14. keepingitrealdumb says: Nov 13, 2012 2:04 PM

    morals clause? what?!?!?!

    it is immoral to question and want to investigate who was behind the attacks???

    that is not immoral, that is an obligation

  15. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 13, 2012 2:08 PM

    In a tersely worded explanation of his decision, the judge said “If you have to invoke Charlie Sheen to support your case, you are wrong. And Guilty!”.

  16. themackstrong says: Nov 13, 2012 2:09 PM

    Why would a company give Mendenhall an endorsement deal in the first place? I don’t remember seeing “Fast Willie” in any commercials and he was far better.

  17. anarchopurplism says: Nov 13, 2012 2:13 PM

    I have no problem with his comments or opinions. It was unwise to speak them though.

    Seems as if he obviously went out of bounds of his contract and this latest tidbit looks like a reach.

    Learn your lesson and move on! Good luck getting another endorsement!

  18. profish13 says: Nov 13, 2012 2:15 PM

    He most certainly has a right to say whatever he wants even if I think its ridiculous. However, when he signs a contract that has a clause that states he needs to represent a company in a certain way, and he violates that clause, then no more contract.

    He made his opinions known, own up to them and move on. If all he cared about was the money, then he should have kept your thoughts to himself.

  19. dexterismyhero says: Nov 13, 2012 2:33 PM

    Hey Rashard, maybe you can get an endorsement deal with the very fine folks at al Qaeda? Waddya think?

  20. bigjdve says: Nov 13, 2012 2:38 PM

    People seem to forget that when they represent something or somebody that what they say then is taken to be representative of who or what they are representing.

    HBI doesn’t agree with what he said, they don’t want to have those opinions associated with them.

    When you take their money to represent them, you are so to be the representation that they asked for, if not you are fired.

    He can say what he likes, but if he wants to get paid, he needs to say what the company likes.

  21. 1greatusername says: Nov 13, 2012 2:59 PM

    blacknole08 says: Nov 13, 2012 1:34 PM

    Call me a tree-hugging liberal and thumbs down all you want, but I have no problem with the comments Mendenhall made in regards to 9/11.

    He’s entitled to his opinion, and we are entitled to bash him or agree with him.

    ———-

    He is entitled to his opinion. And HBI is entitled to theirs. Apparently, they disagree.

    No one’s denying Mendenhall an inalienable right, here. He’s been cut from an endorsement deal because he voiced his opinion. He chose to do that.

    Losing an endorsement because you opened your mouth is actually more fair than being cut from your team because you got hurt, and we routinely accept the latter as part of “the business.”

    Just sayin’

  22. upperdecker19 says: Nov 13, 2012 3:14 PM

    Winning!

  23. cylondetector says: Nov 13, 2012 3:16 PM

    I was definitely more concerned with the publics reaction than Champion’s, to be honest.

    Talk about a media-fuelled feeding frenzy.

    People need to keep an eye on how often the term ‘Unpatriotic’ is invoked by the powers-that-be in order to quash the freedom to express an opinion.

    As I say, I could care less about how Champion perceive his comments – its the knee-jerk public herd mentality nonsense that is the deeper issue here.

  24. billsboy88 says: Nov 13, 2012 8:51 PM

    I was glad when we took down Bin Laden, but I definitely didn’t see the point of partying in the streets over it.

    The man was killed. Justice was rightly done. I hardly viewed it as a reason to celebrate.

    Agree with RM on that much.

  25. xvoorheesx says: Nov 13, 2012 11:01 PM

    Champion didnt drop Mendenhall because of what he said, they dropped him because he’s Rashard effing Mendenhall.

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