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plainnasty
05-05-2011, 09:37 PM
Rashard Mendenhall's controversial Twitter comments this week about the death of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 terrorist attacks have cost him an endorsement deal.

Champion, an athletic apparel manufacturer, cut ties Thursday with the Steelers running back.

Mendenhall recently signed a four-year contract with Champion and had been with the company since his NFL career started in 2008.

"While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express since thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer belief that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion," the company said in a prepared statement.

Mendenhall could not be reached for comment. His agent, Mike McCartney, did not immediately return a message.

Mendenhall on Monday took exception to the celebrations sparked by the killing of bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. He questioned on the social-networking website Twitter how the planes flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City could have brought them down "demolition style."

Champion said it "strongly disagreed" with Mendenhall's views.

Mendenhall attempted to clarify his comments Wednesday and apologized if he "unintentionally harmed" anyone.

He has been under fire since his comments sparked a national story — and caused Steelers president Art Rooney II to say in a statement that "it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments."


Read more: Twitter comments cost Mendenhall endorsement deal - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1LX38I53W (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_735693.html#ixzz1LX38I53W)

birtikidis
05-05-2011, 09:44 PM
Now Mendy will say this is the same as when a slave was whipped by an overseer. I mean it IS a perfect parallel isn't it?

Flasteel
05-05-2011, 10:00 PM
Excellent! I hope this teaches Mendenhall to keep his mouth shut and evaluate his opinions a little more carefully.

eniparadoxgma
05-05-2011, 10:27 PM
Excellent! I hope this teaches Mendenhall to keep his mouth shut and evaluate his opinions a little more carefully.

I don't necessarily agree with Champion's decision but the world is the way the world is. I also hope he learns from this.

insanesteelersfan
05-05-2011, 10:48 PM
I'm sure Mendenhall doesn't mind. He heard they were nothing but a bumch of " Christian "
hatin' Atheists over there :Hater :Hater :Hater

focosteeler
05-05-2011, 11:57 PM
Excellent! I hope this teaches Mendenhall to keep his mouth shut and evaluate his opinions a little more carefully.

I don't necessarily agree with Champion's decision but the world is the way the world is. I also hope he learns from this.
:Agree

rpmpit
05-06-2011, 07:33 AM
I didn't even realize Champion was still around. I remember their sweatshirts being popular in the early 90s but since then...

Anyway. Just like Mendy has the right to say what he wants, they have the right to not be represented by him.

I don't agree with what he said. But I do support his, and everyone's right to free speech. But honestly, I'd have more respect for him if he stood by what he said. His apology shows that he didn't really think about his statements and I'm sure he regrets it.

Steelers>NFL
05-06-2011, 08:06 AM
Freedom of Speech no longer exists today.
Sad what this once great country is becoming.

steelcurtain44
05-06-2011, 08:42 AM
There is freedom of speech. And then there is freedom to say something stupid. He says he just wanted people to think. Well, maybe he should have thought first.

Eich
05-06-2011, 08:49 AM
Freedom of Speech no longer exists today.
Sad what this once great country is becoming.

How do you figure that? !!!

Was Mendy put in jail for what he said? Was he shot for what he said? NO! He was free to say it, just like everyone is free to say what they want. Freedom of Speech is the same as it's been in this country for a very long time. The problem now is that you give free speech to people who think they're smart and at the same time, you give them wide open access to a social network. Most people just don't know how to deal with such public access.

Guys like Mendy think they're so intellectual. But how smart is it to say something - that you know will be controversial - though a social network that will reach millions ?!!

feltdizz
05-06-2011, 10:46 AM
Freedom of Speech no longer exists today.
Sad what this once great country is becoming.

How do you figure that? !!!

Was Mendy put in jail for what he said? Was he shot for what he said? NO! He was free to say it, just like everyone is free to say what they want. Freedom of Speech is the same as it's been in this country for a very long time. The problem now is that you give free speech to people who think they're smart and at the same time, you give them wide open access to a social network. Most people just don't know how to deal with such public access.

Guys like Mendy think they're so intellectual. But how smart is it to say something - that you know will be controversial - though a social network that will reach millions ?!!

I always get a kick out of those who ask what happened to free speech after a person says something that gets them in trouble.

Do people really think freedom of speech means you can say anything without getting fired or disciplined?

steelz09
05-06-2011, 11:38 AM
Mendenhall was "fee to speak" his opinion... and he did.

Champion was "free to end his contract" based on the legalities of their agreement due to Mendenhalls freedom of speak.... and they did.

I don't see the problem.

Eich
05-06-2011, 12:07 PM
Freedom of Speech no longer exists today.
Sad what this once great country is becoming.

How do you figure that? !!!

Was Mendy put in jail for what he said? Was he shot for what he said? NO! He was free to say it, just like everyone is free to say what they want. Freedom of Speech is the same as it's been in this country for a very long time. The problem now is that you give free speech to people who think they're smart and at the same time, you give them wide open access to a social network. Most people just don't know how to deal with such public access.

Guys like Mendy think they're so intellectual. But how smart is it to say something - that you know will be controversial - though a social network that will reach millions ?!!

I always get a kick out of those who ask what happened to free speech after a person says something that gets them in trouble.

Same here !



Do people really think freedom of speech means you can say anything without getting fired or disciplined?

Exactly. Mendy's contract with Champion requires that he endear himself to Champion's customers and prospective customers. Throwing his controversial thoughts outloud regarding 911 doesn't accomplish that. He might was well have tweeted, "People who buy Champion gear are idiots and should THINK about what they're doing".

Mendy said what he wanted. Champion did what it had to do in response. Still a free country. Still free speech.

aggiebones
05-06-2011, 01:58 PM
He is allowed his freedom of speech. But by the same token, Champion also has the right to switch those they sponsor. If a friend of mine said he doesn't like Catholics cause they smell, I could stop being his friend as well. We are bound to anyone. Mendenhall has all the right he needs to speak out for his ideals, but he also shouldn't be surprised if people stop giving him free money.
Stupid is as stupid does.

RuthlessBurgher
05-06-2011, 03:06 PM
If a friend of mine said he doesn't like Catholics cause they smell, I could stop being his friend as well.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/0906/bless-me-father-confession-bless-father-priest-church-cathol-demotivational-poster-1244113751.jpg

AngryAsian
05-06-2011, 04:59 PM
If a friend of mine said he doesn't like Catholics cause they smell, I could stop being his friend as well.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/0906/bless-me-father-confession-bless-father-priest-church-cathol-demotivational-poster-1244113751.jpg


It is scary that you can retrieve internet images appropriate to whatever subject topic is being discussed. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You probably have a bank of Ruthlessburgher Images on your computer desktop ready and waiting for the right pouncing moment. :lol: :lol: :lol:

One of kind, brother...

RuthlessBurgher
05-06-2011, 06:03 PM
If a friend of mine said he doesn't like Catholics cause they smell, I could stop being his friend as well.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/0906/bless-me-father-confession-bless-father-priest-church-cathol-demotivational-poster-1244113751.jpg


It is scary that you can retrieve internet images appropriate to whatever subject topic is being discussed. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You probably have a bank of Ruthlessburgher Images on your computer desktop ready and waiting for the right pouncing moment. :lol: :lol: :lol:

One of kind, brother...

Google Image Search is my bee-yotch...

By the way, nice seeing your yella mug around these parts...stay a while, won't you? :wink:

hawaiiansteel
05-06-2011, 08:30 PM
Champion supports everybody, except Mendy and his stupid comments.


http://sportsclothesandmore.com/CHAMPION_LOGO_0202.jpg

fordfixer
05-06-2011, 09:52 PM
If a friend of mine said he doesn't like Catholics cause they smell, I could stop being his friend as well.

http://www.motifake.com/image/demotivational-poster/small/0906/bless-me-father-confession-bless-father-priest-church-cathol-demotivational-poster-1244113751.jpg


It is scary that you can retrieve internet images appropriate to whatever subject topic is being discussed. :lol: :lol: :lol:

You probably have a bank of Ruthlessburgher Images on your computer desktop ready and waiting for the right pouncing moment. :lol: :lol: :lol:

One of kind, brother...
Welcome to the Planet :tt1

hawaiiansteel
05-08-2011, 02:53 PM
Analyst: Champion-Mendenhall divorce a multifaceted move

NFL.com
Published: May 6, 2011


Champion waited just three days to drop Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall as an endorser after his controversial comments about Osama bin Laden's death created a national stir.

Thursday's move might have served two purposes: to disassociate the athletic apparel manufacturer from a controversy while trying to attract consumers.

"I'd bet more than 99 percent of sports fans didn't even know that Rashard Mendenhall had a deal with Champion," CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell told NFL.com on Friday. "They did a terrible job. So distancing themselves from him in a public way allows them to make a stand and also let people think about their brand.

"Mendenhall's words can't be condoned, but I'm pretty surprised how quickly Champion made their decision."

Mendenhall tweeted Monday in response to the sweeping joy over last weekend's announcement that a U.S. military team had killed bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, in a Pakistani mansion. Mendenhall first wrote, "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...," and followed with tweets questioning what really happened in New York on Sept. 11, 2001 -- "I just have a hard time believing a plan could take a skyscraper down demolition style" -- and encouraging his followers on the social platform to "think."

Champion thought those comments were too much, even though Mendenhall later apologized. Spokesman Matt Hall told USA Today on Thursday that it didn't believe Mendenhall could "appropriately represent Champion" because of the tweets.

"Champion is a strong supporter of the government's efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces," the company said in a statement.

Rovell noted Friday that higher-profile athletes such as Michael Vick (Nike), Tiger Woods (AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade), Kobe Bryant (Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nutella), and Michael Phelps (Kellogg's) lost endorsement deals after controversies, but he was surprised by the speed at which Champion moved on from Mendenhall, who had just signed a new four-year deal with the company.

"While I was shocked by Mendenhall's words, I was equally surprised with Champion's quick reaction," Rovell said. "It appears to me like a company trying to take advantage of a hot news cycle to take a quick stand and get publicity out of it. I'm not sure any standard morals clause covers Mendenhall's right to have an opinion, and that might mean the company will have to pay him his entire contract to get rid of him."

Mendenhall's case also serves as a warning to other athletes who use social media to interact with fans.

"By its nature, Twitter is out of context," Rovell said. "It's only 140 characters. Athletes need to understand that tweeting about sex, race, religion, or any controversy puts them behind the 8-ball."

Especially with companies who have consumers to lure and millions to lose.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... ceted-move (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fb73c7/article/analyst-championmendenhall-divorce-a-multifaceted-move)

Chadman
05-08-2011, 06:48 PM
.

BradshawsHairdresser
05-08-2011, 10:09 PM
Rovell noted Friday that higher-profile athletes such as Michael Vick (Nike), Tiger Woods (AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade), Kobe Bryant (Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nutella), and Michael Phelps (Kellogg's) lost endorsement deals after controversies, but he was surprised by the speed at which Champion moved on from Mendenhall, who had just signed a new four-year deal with the company.

Ok, so I don't agree with a lot of you, and that's ok.

Here's the bit that gnaws away at me about Mendy- take a look who is used as comparisons to him & his situation- illegal dog fighting, jail time, drugs, numerous mistressess while married, violence etc.

Mendenhall- an opinion that didn't fit with the majority.

Yes- Champion has a right to drop an athlete at any time if they feel it isn't working for them- but Mendy is getting hit for what? Having a different opinion??

He's not a criminal. He hasn't changed who is was from one week to the next. This won't go on his criminal record.

It's an opinion.

And he's getting hammered for it.

Maybe before any company gets any athlete to represent them in the future, they had better do a complete matchmaking process from if the athlete might sell their product effectively down to if the athlete gets bad breath in the morning- just so both the company & the athlete can finally agree on everything they could possibly stand for & think, before signing on the dotted line.

Perhaps the onus should also be on the athlete, not just the company, to do the homework and make sure they are a good match before signing on.

Mendy was getting paid to represent Champion. If he says or does things that are out of line with the image they want to project, they have every right to sever their relationship. I don't agree with their decision, but I don't see the problem. Should the company have to stick with Mendy--even if his tweets are costing them business?

Athletes have got to know that while they have the right to say or do certain things that are controversial, those things might just cost them an endorsement deal.

It's hard for me to feel too sorry for Rashard...he's made a pretty good chunk of change the past couple of years. I don't think he'll be starving any time soon.

Oviedo
05-09-2011, 08:01 AM
Freedom of Speech no longer exists today.
Sad what this once great country is becoming.

How do you figure that? !!!

Was Mendy put in jail for what he said? Was he shot for what he said? NO! He was free to say it, just like everyone is free to say what they want. Freedom of Speech is the same as it's been in this country for a very long time. The problem now is that you give free speech to people who think they're smart and at the same time, you give them wide open access to a social network. Most people just don't know how to deal with such public access.

Guys like Mendy think they're so intellectual. But how smart is it to say something - that you know will be controversial - though a social network that will reach millions ?!!

I always get a kick out of those who ask what happened to free speech after a person says something that gets them in trouble.

Do people really think freedom of speech means you can say anything without getting fired or disciplined?

Like I've always said, "You are free to make any choice you want but rarely do you get to have total control over the consequences of those choices." Lesson: Engage your brain and think carefully before you speak.

Oviedo
05-09-2011, 08:11 AM
Rovell noted Friday that higher-profile athletes such as Michael Vick (Nike), Tiger Woods (AT&T, Accenture and Gatorade), Kobe Bryant (Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Nutella), and Michael Phelps (Kellogg's) lost endorsement deals after controversies, but he was surprised by the speed at which Champion moved on from Mendenhall, who had just signed a new four-year deal with the company.

Ok, so I don't agree with a lot of you, and that's ok.

Here's the bit that gnaws away at me about Mendy- take a look who is used as comparisons to him & his situation- illegal dog fighting, jail time, drugs, numerous mistressess while married, violence etc.

Mendenhall- an opinion that didn't fit with the majority.

Yes- Champion has a right to drop an athlete at any time if they feel it isn't working for them- but Mendy is getting hit for what? Having a different opinion??

He's not a criminal. He hasn't changed who is was from one week to the next. This won't go on his criminal record.

It's an opinion.

And he's getting hammered for it.

Maybe before any company gets any athlete to represent them in the future, they had better do a complete matchmaking process from if the athlete might sell their product effectively down to if the athlete gets bad breath in the morning- just so both the company & the athlete can finally agree on everything they could possibly stand for & think, before signing on the dotted line.

Mendy's job relationship with Champion was to help Champion make more money by attracting more customers. Verbalizing a position that is fraught with such high emotion like he did is not consistent with him being able to attract consumers in the future and would probably have the opposite effect.

It would be the same as me being on contract for the Australian Tourism Board and tweeting that "Australia is a huge desert filled with poisonous snakes, with a crappy road systems and shark infested beaches." Pretty certain my contract would be terminated even though I committed no crime.

It is hard for people outside of the US to fully appreciate the raw emotionalism associated with 9-11. It is a topic that if you discuss you should not be uninformed about like Mendenhall was.

Ghost
05-09-2011, 08:49 AM
Champion has a right to drop an athlete at any time if they feel it isn't working for them- but Mendy is getting hit for what? Having a different opinion??

If an Australian athlete tweeted "The flooding in Queensland hasn't really been that bad, people should suck it up, Tasha was weak" - would that be an issue? I'm guessing there is a good chance sponsors would drop that athlete. But.... it's just an opinion though. He's allowed to say it. He shouldn't get hammered for it.

Freedom of speech and expression does not equal freedom of consequences. Champion isn't the biggest sports retailer around these days. Having an athlete who represents them tweet insensitive, poorly worded, non factual, and overall inflammatory thoughts (with an apology that sucked as it was not really an apology) is not good for business and as such, dropping him is not an overreaction, it's a good business decision.

I'd really like to not spend every offseason discussing yet another moronic comment this numbskull tweeted b/c he doesn't have the sense God gave him to step back and use his head.

RuthlessBurgher
05-09-2011, 09:44 AM
Champion got more publicity by dumping Mendenhall here than they would have if he was a choir boy for the duration of his contract and won 4 Super Bowl MVP's during that time. The people on this board are the hardest of the hardcore Steeler fans, and we didn't know that Mendenhall was endorsing Champion...hell, some of us didn't even realize that Champion was still around since their heyday in the 80's. Now, even your grandmothers who watch the Today show know about Mendy's tweets and Champion's decision to dump him as a result.

Considering how corrupt big business is these days, more businesses should use this as a business tactic. Sign a marginal athlete to a minor endorsement deal. Offer them a huge bonus under the table to say something irrevocably stupid. Then the company dumps the athlete (after already receiving the lump buyout payment), bringing all sorts of free press, making the company looks good and moral and just in the eyes of the populace. Then the athlete with the ruined reputation signs a contract to join the wrestling circuit as a "bad guy" after retiring from his sport of choice. Win-win. I'm an evil genius. Mwoo-ha-ha!!!

BradshawsHairdresser
05-09-2011, 11:41 AM
Champion got more publicity by dumping Mendenhall here than they would have if he was a choir boy for the duration of his contract and won 4 Super Bowl MVP's during that time. The people on this board are the hardest of the hardcore Steeler fans, and we didn't know that Mendenhall was endorsing Champion...hell, some of us didn't even realize that Champion was still around since their heyday in the 80's. Now, even your grandmothers who watch the Today show know about Mendy's tweets and Champion's decision to dump him as a result.

Considering how corrupt big business is these days, more businesses should use this as a business tactic. Sign a marginal athlete to a minor endorsement deal. Offer them a huge bonus under the table to say something irrevocably stupid. Then the company dumps the athlete (after already receiving the lump buyout payment), bringing all sorts of free press, making the company looks good and moral and just in the eyes of the populace. Then the athlete with the ruined reputation signs a contract to join the wrestling circuit as a "bad guy" after retiring from his sport of choice. Win-win. I'm an evil genius. Mwoo-ha-ha!!!
:lol:

NJ-STEELER
05-09-2011, 01:10 PM
mendy dumped champion at the superbowl

with his fumble

hawaiiansteel
07-18-2011, 05:28 PM
Mendenhall plans to sue endorser for dropping him

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 18, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-mendenhallfumble1.jpg?w=162

Two months after Champion athletic gear dropped Rashard Mendenhall as an endorser in the wake of his comments about Osama Bin Laden’s death, the Steelers running back has decided to sue the company.

Darren Rovell of CNBC reports Mendenhall plans to sue HanesBrand, the parent company for Champion.

I’m not the legal expert here, but common sense dictates this is probably more trouble than it’s worth for Mendenhall. It’s hard to imagine he won’t lose money going after the company, and he’s only giving more attention to the brand. (And their stance, which the public agrees with. Which is why Champion made a show of dropping Mendenhall in the first place.)

Perhaps he’s just trying to keep the wallflower Steelers in the news.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -champion/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/18/mendenhall-plans-to-sue-champion/)

Sugar
07-18-2011, 08:15 PM
Mendenhall plans to sue endorser for dropping him

Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 18, 2011

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/r-mendenhallfumble1.jpg?w=162

Two months after Champion athletic gear dropped Rashard Mendenhall as an endorser in the wake of his comments about Osama Bin Laden’s death, the Steelers running back has decided to sue the company.

Darren Rovell of CNBC reports Mendenhall plans to sue HanesBrand, the parent company for Champion.

I’m not the legal expert here, but common sense dictates this is probably more trouble than it’s worth for Mendenhall. It’s hard to imagine he won’t lose money going after the company, and he’s only giving more attention to the brand. (And their stance, which the public agrees with. Which is why Champion made a show of dropping Mendenhall in the first place.)

Perhaps he’s just trying to keep the wallflower Steelers in the news.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -champion/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/07/18/mendenhall-plans-to-sue-champion/)

As with most things, the devil is in the details. It will depend on the language of the endorsement agreement. Most contracts will have an out for detrimental conduct. The wording is important here. If Mendy has a case, his lawyer will press it forward, if not, it'll get thrown out on summary judgment anyway.

hawaiiansteel
07-19-2011, 05:39 PM
Updated: July 19, 2011

Rashard Mendenhall sues Champion

Associated Press


RALEIGH, N.C. -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is suing the parent company of the Champion sports apparel maker, calling the decision to drop his endorsement deal over his tweets about the death of Osama bin Laden and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks a breach of contract.

“For Rashard, this really is not about the money. This is about whether he can express his opinion.”

-- Steven Thompson, Mendenhall's attorney

Mendenhall's lawyers filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in North Carolina, seeking roughly $1 million in damages from Hanesbrands, Inc., the Winston-Salem-based corporate parent of Champion.

The complaint says Champion's decision to end its endorsement deal with Mendenhall in May, days after he questioned the public celebration of bin Laden's death, violates a contract extension the two parties signed in 2010, worth more than $1 million. Mendenhall first signed a deal to endorse Champion products when he entered the league in 2008.

"For Rashard, this really is not about the money. This is about whether he can express his opinion," said Steven Thompson, a Chicago-based attorney representing Mendenhall.

A spokesman for Hanesbrands did not return a call seeking comment by early Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly after bin Laden was killed by a team of Navy SEALs, Mendenhall tweeted, in response to scenes of euphoria around the U.S., "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 on the Sept. 11 attacks: "We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

The comments prompted significant anger, leading to a clarification by Mendenhall and a separate statement by Steelers team president Art Rooney II that distanced the organization from Mendenhall's remarks. But his number of Twitter followers nearly doubled to about 37,000 within a few days of the tweets.

Hanesbrands' decision to drop the Steelers star was likely a "kneejerk reaction" made within 48 hours of the tweets, Thompson said. The swiftness of that move contrasts with Champion's silence regarding other contentious tweets by Mendenhall, the lawsuit claims.

On March 15, for example, Mendenhall tweeted about his agreement with Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's comments comparing the NFL to "modern-day slavery."

"Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other," Mendenhall wrote.

About six weeks later, he tweeted that women who decline to perform oral sex on a partner should be aware that "It's either gonna be you, OR some other chick."

"Hanesbrands at no time prior to May 2011 suggested that it disagreed with Mr. Mendenhall's comments or that his tweets were in any way inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand," the lawsuit says.

The running back's contract included provisions barring Mendenhall from actions that would bring him "into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult, or offend the majority of the consuming public," along with other terms, Lynette Fuller-Andrews, a lawyer for Hanesbrands, wrote in a May 11 letter to Mendenhall's representatives.

"Morals clauses" are commonly invoked when an athlete's behavior makes the wrong kind of headlines. Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick lost endorsement deals after revelations about his participation in a dogfighting ring, and Tiger Woods was dropped by some of his sponsors following the disintegration of his marriage over accusations of serial infidelity.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/67833 ... hampion-1m (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6783353/rashard-mendenhall-pittsburgh-steelers-sues-champion-1m)

pittpete
07-19-2011, 07:43 PM
Mendenhall was "fee to speak" his opinion... and he did.

Champion was "free to end his contract" based on the legalities of their agreement due to Mendenhalls freedom of speak.... and they did.

I don't see the problem.

Gotta love this system we live in, and Mendy sues now :roll:

Sugar
07-19-2011, 08:18 PM
Part of the issue is whether or not Champion had the ability to terminate the agreement early "at will" or whether there had to be detrimental conduct (or some such language).

If it was "at will" then they could let him go for about any reason or non-reason. However, if the language of the endorsement agreement specified that they could terminate based on some kind of detrimental conduct, they may have to prove that he did something detrimental to the brand and that could be a harder burden. Just sayin...

hawaiiansteel
07-20-2011, 07:05 PM
No, Rashard Mendenhall, your free-speech rights were not violated

July 20
David Whitley
AOL FanHouse Columnist

http://dy.snimg.com/story-image/5/50/192498/41302-650-366.jpg

Rashard Mendenhall is suing Champion for firing him as an endorser. News of the lawsuit was greeted with cheers in a prison cell in Nevada.

We all know how O.J. Simpson would vote if he were on the jury. Fortunately, the Juice still has 30 years left on his kidnapping and robbery sentence, so he won’t be weighing evidence anytime soon.

And Mendenhall’s case should be laughed out of court long before any jury pools are called. It’s based on the premise that anybody can say anything at any time, and there’s nothing his employer can do about it.

Mendenhall didn’t actually say anything. But through the loaded gun of Twitter, the Steelers’ running back weighed in after Navy SEALs ridded the world of Osama bin Laden.

“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 … ”

Yes, if only poor Osama had been allowed to express his side to the American public. Mendenhall then went conspiracy kook about 9-11.

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

His tweets undoubtedly went over big in certain parts of Afghanistan. But Champion doesn’t sell a lot of underwear over there. Its target audience is primarily Americans, most of whom quickly decided Mendenhall was a moron.

Champion didn’t find that a particularly good marketing strategy, so it dropped Mendenhall as a spokesman. He is now seeking more than $1 million from Hanesbrand, which owns Champion.

But honestly, he’s only doing it for the First Amendment.

“For Rashard, this is really not about the money,” said his lawyer Steven Thompson. “This is about whether he can express his opinion.”

Of course he can. But anyone who’s taken high school civics or followed Tiger Woods’ career knows there are limits. One of them is when you sign a contract to represent a business, that business can expect you to not come off as a moron.

Accenture dropped Woods after he was exposed as a serial letch. Something about the “Go on, be a Tiger” slogan just didn’t sound right anymore.

Gatorade also jettisoned Woods, costing him an estimated $20 million a year. Tiger didn’t claim his Constitutional rights have been violated. Neither did Michael Phelps when Kellogg’s dropped him after bong-hit photos hit the Internet.

Companies have long fired the messenger when the messenger screws up. McDonald’s jettisoned Kobe Bryant after he was charged with sexual assault. Nike bounced Michael Vick after all that dog business.

Simpson made Hertz famous by running through an airport hurdling suitcases. The rental car company still fired him after domestic abuse allegations in 1992.

O.J. reportedly encountered a few more legal problems. The latest have landed him in Lovelock Correctional Center.

I’m not sure why Mendenhall thinks he is different from all the other ex-endorsers. Champions contract barred him from actions that would bring him “into public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule.”

He got all of those. Mendenhall’s lawsuit claims Champion blindsided him. After all, he’d earlier tweeted idiocies like “Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say these two parallel each other.”

A few weeks later, he tweeted women should perform oral sex on men because “It’s either gonna be you, OR some other chick.”

Then he goes on his 9-11 rant, and Hanesbrand got its underwear all in a wad. A “kneejerk reaction,” the lawsuit claims.

So what? The plaintiff’s theory seems to be that if an endorser isn’t fired for the first stupid act, they can’t ever be fired.

It’s a novel approach, and I’m sure once First Amendment scholars stop laughing they will pay close attention to Mendenhall vs. Hanesbrand. But the way the judicial system is going these days, who knows?

A couple of Casey Anthony jurors could get involved, and Mendenhall could walk out of court free to tweet anything with impunity.

If that happens, Hertz should expect a collect call from Lovelock. O.J. is going to want his old job back.

http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2 ... z1SgKFeaRD (http://aol.sportingnews.com/nfl/story/2011-07-20/no-rashard-mendenhall-your-free-speech-rights-were-not-violated#ixzz1SgKFeaRD)

plainnasty
07-20-2011, 08:26 PM
Mendenhall is hardly a typical jock. He's a thoughtful, curious 24-year-old who insists on speaking his mind on a wide range of issues - unfortunately, even when the evidence suggests there's nothing rattling around up in there but a few loose screws.

He got his summer break off on the wrong foot just a week into it by endorsing fellow running back Adrian Peterson's characterization of the NFL as "modern-day slavery" on his Twitter account. The stir it created was just a preview of what was to follow in May, when soon after the death of Osama bin Laden, he took note of the celebrations taking place, went back to Twitter and posted this: "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."

Turns out Mendenhall was just warming up. Not long after, he planted himself in the midst of the 9-11 truther movement.

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

Those tweets caused Champion, a sporting-goods company that had days earlier signed Mendenhall to a four-year extension of his sponsorship deal, to drop him.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II also felt the need to put some distance between the team and Mendenhall, saying in a statement, "I have not spoken with Rashard, so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. The entire Steelers organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon."

The whole mess could - and should - have ended there. And it might have, too, if either Rooney or Tomlin were allowed to make contact with Mendenhall and make clear this was a fight he wasn't going to win.

Instead, Mendenhall doubled down, filing a lawsuit charging breach of contract earlier this week in federal court in North Carolina, where Champion's parent company is headquartered.

"For Rashard, this really is not about the money," said Steven Thompson, a Chicago-based attorney representing Mendenhall. "This is about whether he can express his opinion."

He can, and has. But so can Champion, which sent a letter Mendenhall's representatives in May noting that the contract barred him behaving in a way that would bring "public disrepute, contempt, scandal or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult, or offend the majority of the consuming public."

By my count, Mendenhall went 7 for 7, though there's no telling what could happen in court - if the case ever gets that far. Then again, has already taken a battering in the court of public opinion. He ought to think about quitting while he's behind.



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/20/30 ... z1Sh91k42N (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/20/3024583/what-i-shouldnt-have-done-on-my.html#ixzz1Sh91k42N)

I couldn't agree more