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

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.

25 responses to “In lawsuit, Mendenhall invokes Charlie Sheen’s 9/11 comments

  1. 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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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’

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!