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.