Tag:Rashard Mendenhall Twitter
Posted on: May 14, 2011 5:30 pm
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Mendenhall kind of claims he learned a lesson

Posted by Will Brinson

It's unlikely that we'll grow tired of talking about Rashard Mendenhall on Twitter. That's mainly because he keeps tweeting, of course.

Like, on Saturday, when Mendenhall seemed to start off on an apology tangent (or a "here's what I've learned" tangent at least), when he decided to veer in a similar "outside the box" Twitter rant.

"I've learned more these last few weeks than some people will ever even attempt to learn their whole lives," Mendenhall tweeted. "Conventional wisdom is the new Jolly Roger."

What? Conventional wisdom is a pirate ship? That sounds like an Anchorman quote.

I kid, of course -- Mendenhall is making reference to the use of "Jolly Roger" to mean "poison" or "a hazard." In which case, he's actually making a fairly provocative statement, only he's doing it in an intelligent way. (Which is quite different than what he did the first time.)
Mendenhall

The point Mendenhall's trying to make is that he wants people to "think."

That's all well and good, and anyone who says they don't want professional athletes to think and to have opinions about worldly topics is playing too much into a stereotype.

But it doesn't change the fact that Mendenhall still needs to do that himself before he decides to pass along an opinion in a shortened medium like Twitter that doesn't provide much room for explanation.

If he really has learned his lesson, he'll remember that next time around.

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Posted on: May 11, 2011 11:51 pm
Edited on: May 12, 2011 9:12 am
 

Ward on Mendenhall: 'That wasn't a good opinion'

Posted by Will Brinson

Rashard Mendenhall's opinions of 9/11 aren't very popular -- it cost the Steelers running back an endorsement deal with Champion and a lot of flak from the general public.

Turns out, it wasn't just the general public who thinks Mendenhall made a mistake saying what he did. His teammate, Hines Ward, also recognizes how dumb the tweets were.

“Everybody’s entitled to their opinion,” Ward said, per Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “But that wasn’t a good opinion.”

Ward also discussed the consequences of social media in today's world and, unlike his teammate Ryan Clark, who thinks athletes simply shouldn't use it, he was spot on.

“If that’s your opinion leave it as your opinion,” Ward said. “When you tweet that out there, you have to deal with the backlashes that come with that. You put everybody out there because everywhere we go we get asked questions about the comments you made. When you tweet like that, you’ve got to be careful.
Mendenhall

"I’m not a big tweeter because sometimes your emotions get caught up, you speak your mind and it’s not always the best thing to say.”

Look, anyone can get caught up in the heat of the moment and say something stupid on social media; it's not a requirement that you be an athlete.

But being an athlete means you're more high profile, and that means being a little more careful about what opinions you throw out there.
Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 11:22 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)Posted by Will Brinson

In case you hadn't heard, Steelers' RB Rashard Mendenhall did some tweeting recently about Osama Bin Laden. It did NOT go over well with the general public. And it apparently didn't go over well with athletic wear company Champion, who fired Mendenhall on Thursday.

Mendenhall inked a post on his site attempting to explain his Twitter burst, but clearly that wasn't enough, as the company, who's paid Mendenhall to endorse their products, decided that Mendenhall's tweets were "inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand." So, they fired him.

"In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers," Champion spokesman told told Michael McCarthy of USA Today"While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship."
Mendenhall

It's not surprising at all to see Champion -- whose logo is colored red, white and blue, by the way -- pull this move from a public relations standpoint, as Mendenhall's comments alienated many a fan. But it is interesting from the perspective of how a brand, an endorser and a demographic interact.

For instance, here's an example of something similar from another form of popular culture: the Dixie Chicks, once upon an election or two ago, decided to speak out against George W. Bush. Because they are a country music band who caters to a particular, shall we say "more American" demographic, overcoming that sort of statement in public was nearly impossible. (Conversely, Green Day, a rock band whose listeners tend to be more liberal, can write an entire song ripping Bush, and the only consequence is that they sell more records.)

I'm not saying that Champion is a country band, but I do think that it's substantially more difficult for Champion to overcome a slew of average, everyday Americans refusing to buy their brand because they endorse Mendenhall.

And, of course, there's the fact that Mendenhall isn't exactly Tiger Woods, whose value as an endorser holds greater weight.

Look, Mendenhall didn't do anything wrong, he just did something stupid. Athletes -- and everyone -- today simply have to understand that using Twitter is just like being a at a press conference. While Twitter and Facebook and all forms of social media are a fascinating and fun way for athletes to communicate with fans and media alike, it's also a part of an individual's brand.

And as we've seen countless times, you don't need to break any laws to ruin your image in this country.

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