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Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Posted on: July 18, 2011 3:57 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 4:05 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

Rashard Mendenhall created one of the offseason's biggest controversies when he tweeted some stuff about 9/11 following Osama Bin Laden's death. The tweets got fans all stirred up, drew some remarks from teammates and got him fired as an endorser of Champion.

In response, Mendenhall is -- per CNBC's Darren Rovell -- suing Hanesbrand, the parent company of Champion in North Carolina District Court.

“This case involves the core question of whether an athlete employed as a celebrity endorser loses the right to express opinions simply because the company whose products he endorses might disagree with some (but not all) of those opinions,” the suit reads.

In all likelihood, this won't work like a normal "wrongful termination" case -- Mendenhall had a clause in his Champion contract that, per Rovell, allows them to fire him if Mendenhall "commits or is arrested for any crime or becomes involved in any situation or occurrence tending to bring Mendenhall into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult or offend the majority of the consuming public.”  

The problem here for Mendenhall is that because he's dealing with an issue like 9/11, he'll have an uphill battle to prove that the majority of the consuming public wasn't offended by his comments, particularly given the storm of media coverage it generated.

Additionally, he's seeking monetary damages for his termination, which probably won't play well in the media, despite what his attorneys claim.

"Although the lawsuit seeks damages, this case is truly not about the money," Mendenhall's lawyer Stephen Thompson told Rovell. "In this age of widespread social media, Rashard believes (whether an athlete can be fired for his or her opinions) is an important question for all athletes who serve as celebrity spokespersons, and he intends to pursue this lawsuit to vindicate his rights and those of other athletes caught in this situation."

Perhaps the biggest problem is the resulting image hit that Mendenhall could suffer. Even though he's defending a basic American tenant -- free speech -- he's going to remind everyone in the country exactly why he got fired in the first place; it's unlikely that the general public's stance has changed on his statements since then.

And, of course, he's suing an ex-employer and someone who signed him to an endorsement contract. That's never good for business, particularly if you're trying to find future endorsers.

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Comments

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:35 am
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

I have to agree with Mendenhall's lawyer Stephen Thompson when he says that this case is truly not about the money.  I'd say its basis is sheer stupidity.    




Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: July 19, 2011 2:34 am
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

A few months back when Willie Parker was talking to Steelers about a job I posted I couldn't think of one running back I'd want less on my team then Willie Parker.

Fast forward a couple months, and we found out Tiki wanted to play for Steelers.  I was forced to retract my statement about Willie Parker.  Turns out was a guy I'd want less, and thats Tiki Barber.
 
At that point I'm thinking ok this is it.  Tiki is a lock.

Fast forward to today.  Does anyone by chance still have Willie, or Tiki's phone numbers?

The thing that annoys me the most out of this whole situation is when the lawsuit goes down in flames. (which it will)  I'd be willing to bet good money the idiot will then play the race card.  I honestly don't ever see him being smart enough to understand the simple fact that while you are allowed to say whatever you want.  Sometimes there are consequences for the things you say.  You signed a contract with Champion.  In that contract I can almost gurentee is a personal conduct/representation clause.  You have about the same chance winning this case, and setting a precedent for these types of cases as you do winning the loto ya dusche bag.



Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: July 19, 2011 12:00 am
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Gee Rashard, we were just starting to forget what a piece of "work" you are 



Since: May 1, 2009
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:49 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Seems to be that the biggest proof that what he said was offensive to many is I don't know that other companies have jumped on the bandwagon to sign Mendenhall to endorsement deals. If I owned a company there would be NO WAY I would want him representing MY company after comments like that.



Since: Jul 18, 2011
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Actually i think pound for pound hes one of the smartest in this country, atleast hes not a sheep like the majority in this country that take every BS  the mainstream media and the Gov'nt feeds us. Dude had a point, all he said was lthink outside the box and look at other scenerous or possibility regarding 9-11.



Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:37 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

 for all athletes who serve as celebrity spokespersons
A better idea is for compaines to quit hiring athletes and celebrities as spokepersons. 



Since: Jan 27, 2011
Posted on: July 18, 2011 11:26 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

YOU FORGOT RAY LEWIS!!! The real Toolbag



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:33 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Ever hear Mendenhall speak??  The guy has a brain the size of a pea.  Dolphins are smarter.



Since: Jan 25, 2008
Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:29 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

Is that a picture of the 7-Up guy (Orlando Jones) on 'roids or Rashard?



Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: July 18, 2011 8:19 pm
 

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion over 9/11 tweets

God man... can the steelers get through 1 blasted off-season without this crap now?  So tiring.  Mendenhall.. you want paid.. endorsments?  Then don't fumble the freaking football in the superbowl when your team is going for the kill. 


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