Rashard Mendenhall Clarifies Osama Bin Laden Tweets, Calls Americans Hypocritical for Celebrating Death

Rashard Mendenhall Clarifies Osama Bin Laden Tweets, Calls Americans Hypocritical for Celebrating Death After causing a firestorm of controversy this week with tweets regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall posted a blog entry on Wednesday to try to clarify his comments.

In the post, Mendenhall said that he "wasn't questioning" the evil in bin Laden, but he was "reflecting on our own hypocrisy."

"During 9/11 we watched in horror as parts of the world celebrated death on our soil," Mendenhall wrote. "Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man's death."

The tweet that sparked the controversy said, "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 …"

While Mendenhall's blog on Wednesday helped clear up the first part of his statement, he never did address his claim that "we've only heard one side."

Mendenhall also indicated on Twitter that he has "a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style." He later deleted that tweet, and on Wednesday, he expressed sympathy for all Americans affected by the tragedy of Sept. 11.

"I want people to understand that I am not in support of Bin Laden, or against the USA," he wrote. "I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. … 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."

Mendenhall, a self-proclaimed "conversationalist," said he did not make his original comments in an effort to stir controversy.

"I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm," he said. "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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