Mendenhall’s tweets worse than his Super Bowl fumble?

Since the news broke Sunday night that a team of Navy SEALs had indeed killed Osaama bin Laden, reaction has been swift and in many forms.  People took to the streets outside the White House and cheered.  Notoriously hard-edged Phillies fans chanted “USA!” as their team played the Mets with the game tied 1-1 in the 9th.

While even Republicans praised President Obama on a job well done, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall tweeted his reaction and his is the response that caused quite a stir.

His Tweets as quoted from his Twitter account:

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…

@ dkeller23 We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style

That Tweet may be referring to the documentary “Loose Change” which has been watched by millions of Americans and has caused quite a stir among conspiracy therorists.

Throwing these Tweets out on a day America was finally feeling closure was not too bright.  In fact, it makes his fumble in February’s Super Bowl XLV begin to look like the second-biggest blunder he’s made in 2011.

Reaction has been swift and not so positive, to say the least.  His name was one of the top trending phrases on Twitter Tuesday.  In addition, the Steelers released a statement, in which team president Art Rooney II said that he hadn’t yet spoken with the player, and that the team is, “…very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.”

Look, I’m all for freedom of speech.  But that works both ways – while Mendenhall is perfectly free to “say” what he wants, people are also free to express their disdain for his remarks.  While it isn’t generally good to celebrate someone’s death, I think a lot of people are making an exception in this case.  And as for hearing “one side” – I think we heard enough from bin Laden, namely his taking credit for the 9/11 attacks.

As for his doubting that a plane could take down a skyscraper, I have friends who actually witnessed the planes flying into the World Trade Center.  Others were lucky enough to survive the towers crumbling.

Here’s an idea, Rashard: why don’t you go visit Ground Zero, the Pentagon or the field not far from you in Shanksville.  Come back to us after you’ve done so and let us know what you think.

And another thing – is it me, or has Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general become like the bathroom wall or classroom desk in high school once was?  You, know, a forum for every random thought.  Instead of kids writing “Cowboys suck!” we now get athletes tweeting about bin Laden and bashing Roger Goodell.

Although there’s one difference – eventually the janitors (including yours truly for a few summers) scrub all that junk off.  On the internet, it stays there forever, for all to see.  Do we really care or need to hear the random thoughts of athletes and celebrities?  Go pick up a phone and tell your friends in confidence.  You know, like they used to do in the 20th century.

So here’s some wise advice, Rashard: think before you tweet.  And try to focus on more important things, like holding onto the football.

Used with permission of the author.

Chris Lardieri runs the “West Coast View” column for Sports Climax. A veteran to the keyboard, Chris covered the Los Angeles Dodgers for Examiner.com and has written about Major League Baseball for Inside Edge, a scouting company that provides content to ESPN Insider and Yahoo Sports. Follow Chris on Twitter for more sports observations.

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