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Mendenhall clarifies bin Laden tweets

Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard_Mendenhall caused quite a stir over

Pittsburgh Steelers Rashard_Mendenhall caused quite a stir over his tweets about the death of Osama bin Laden, and disagreement with Americans celebrating his death. (Feb. 1, 2011) Credit: AP

Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall created a stir on Monday with his controversial quotes on his Twitter account in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden’s death, and is now seeking to clarify his remarks.

In his latest tweet, Mendenhall links to what he calls a clarification of his twitter posts 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.”

On Monday, Mendenhall wrote a series of tweets that questioned why people would be so angry at bin Laden and whether or not airplanes really could take down the Twin Towers at the World Trade Center in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001.

"What kind of person celebrates death?" Mendenhall wrote. "It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..."

In another tweet, he wrote: "We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

Yesterday afternoon, Mendenhall deleted the tweet about the planes from his account. And he did not address that tweet in his clarification statement.

“I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA,” Mendenhall wrote. “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.”

Mendenhall specifically mentioned the tweet that asks “What kind of person celebrates death.”

“This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder,” he wrote. “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.”

Mendenhall apologize for what he called “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.”

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