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Tag:Twitter
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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Posted on: May 4, 2011 12:37 pm
Edited on: May 4, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Mendenhall writes blog post explaining his tweets

Posted by Andy Benoit
R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)
Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall caused quite a stir Monday night when, after the news about bin Laden’s death, he tweeted, “What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...”

He also tweeted about 9/11, saying, “We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style." (Mendenhall later removed that tweet from his twitter account.)

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old Mendenhall wrote a blog titled "Clarification". Here it is in its entirety:

"I appreciate those of you who have decided to read this letter and attain a greater understanding of my recent twitter posts. I see how they have gotten misconstrued, and wanted to use this outlet as a way to clear up all things that do not truthfully represent myself, what I stand for personally, and any organization that I am a part of.

Mendenhall

 First, I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA. I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. Not just in the US, but families all over the world who had relatives in the World Trade Centers. My heart goes out to the troops who fight for our freedoms everyday, not being certain if they will have the opportunity to return home, and the families who watch their loved ones bravely go off to war. Last year, I was grateful enough to have the opportunity to travel over seas and participate in a football camp put on for the children of US troops stationed in Germany. It was a special experience. These events have had a significant impact in my life.
           
“What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side...”
          
This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics. In the bible, Ezekiel 33:11 states, “Say to them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways!...”. I wasn’t questioning Bin Laden’s evil acts. I believe that he will have to face God for what he has done. I was reflecting on our own hypocrisy. During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the world celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.   

Nothing I said was meant to stir up controversy. It was my way to generate conversation. In looking at my timeline in its entirety, everything that I’ve said is with the intent of expressing a wide array of ideas and generating open and honest discussions, something I believe we as American citizens should be able to do. Most opinions will not be fully agreed upon and are not meant to be. However, I believe every opinion should be respected or at least given some thought. I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm. I apologize to anyone I unintentionally harmed with anything that I said, or any hurtful interpretation that was made and put in my name. 

It was only meant to encourage anyone reading it to think."

Since this controversy, Mendenhall's Twitter following is grown considerably. On Tuesday afternoon, he had 13,631 followers. On Wednesday afternoon, he had 36,914.


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Posted on: December 18, 2010 8:37 pm
 

Chad Ochocinco gets cut ... slicing oranges

Will Brinson

Chad Ochocinco likes to clown around pretty much everywhere. (Except in the final of "Ultimate Catch," when one of the girls clowned too much for even HIM, which was kind of amazing.)

Naturally, when he was at home, chopping up oranges on Saturday night and actually stuck his finger with a knife, he had to let the world know about it on Twitter...
Damn i just got cut, how does this happen the day before a game? WTf!!!
Now, people freaked. After all, it's not unreasonable that the Bengals would do something stupid and/or drastic with a high-priced star, like getting rid of him and trying to clean house, right? Well, not exactly, but everyone thought that he'd been cut by the team. (I actually Google'd "Chad Ochocinco" to see if any news items come up. I mean, you never know.) Then he dropped this:
People not cut from the team, i cut my hand slicing some oranges and i got a game tomorrow, not cool!
Ocho later wondered how many people he "got," meaning just how many folks got pumpfaked by the tweet. Well, probably a lot.

Good thing for him, he now has a pretty solid built-in excuse if he has a terrible game tomorrow against the Browns.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 11:17 am
 

Dockett fined $5,000 for pre-kickoff tweeting

Posted by Will Brinson

Darnell Dockett is pretty active on Twitter, and that's a good thing, as he's typically a pretty funny fella on the Interwebs. Last week, though, he was a little too active for even the NFL's tastes, and he's been fined $5,000 for tweeting inside of the 90 minute pre-kickoff "no electronics" window.

That's via Darren Urban of the Cards' official website (but on Twitter, natch ) who also points out that Calais Campbell got fined the same amount for a hit on Sam Bradford.

The interesting -- and obvious -- comparison here is Chad Ochocinco, who was fined $25,000 for tweeting during a preseason game .

Ochocinco's fine was five times as large as Dockett's and there are two good reasons why. First, Chad tweeted during a game (it's irrelevant for this argument that it was just an exhibition), which is technically the same thing because of the window, but it's most certainly a worse offense because of the potential cheating/Spygate-like implications that could be involved with electronic messaging during games.

Second, Ochocinco clearly is on the NFL's radar when it comes to shenanigans (on the field anyway) and unlike Dockett, this isn't exactly his first run-in with the (NFL) law.

The lesson as always: if you Tweet it, we will see it. And if it's inside the 90 minute window, so will the NFL.

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Posted on: September 15, 2010 10:21 am
 

Sanchez disagrees with Namath armchair QB action

Posted by Will Brinson

Joe Namath spent much of Monday night on Twitter, berating the Jets for their inability to score points in what was the ugliest game in an ugly Week 1. Namath's tweeting was accurate, but not typically the type of thing you'd want out of a former player and Jets legend, especially when the team was struggling so bad.

Mark Sanchez, speaking to the New York Post 's Bart Hubbuch , politely disagrees and thinks that Namath -- and anyone else freaking out about the Jets -- needs to simmadownnow .

"The sun came up, we knew it would, and there's nothing wrong with going 15-1," he said. "I'm confident in our scheme. Nothing changes [because of Monday night]. It's way too early to hit the panic button."

I really can't emphasize "politely" enough -- Sanchez in no way took shots at Namath, and wasn't even really defensive in his quotes. In fact, it was kind of disappointing after hearing that there was a "war of words" or some such going on.

"Joe likes to sling it because that's kind of the offense they had back then," Sanchez said. "But we have a great running game, and we would never want to abandon that."

As mentioned, Sanchez had nothing bad to say about the former Jet quarterback -- I'd be willing to bet, though, that you end up seeing Broadway Joe tame his in-game tweets down a notch (or at least make them more constructive) after someone more willing to speak, ahem, freely -- think: Rex Ryan or Woody Johnson -- politely asks him to tone it down a notch.

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