TSF Friday Fire: Should Athletes Remain Tight-Lipped On Hot-Button Issues?

Earlier this week Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall drew the ire of Americans when he dared to question the 9/11 attacks and Americans celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden on Twitter?

Common folk like myself have done the same, so because Mendenhall represents the Pittsburgh Steelers and even larger the National Football League is he obligated to remain silent on issues such as these?

“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,” Mendenhall wrote, before adding his view on the Twin Towers attack.

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

These are patriotic times for many – the last thing they want to hear is the b-side. Anyone that questions the fact that Bin Laden was unarmed when he was killed instead of being arrested because he knew to much is looked upon as a sympathizer and deemed “unpatriotic”.

As for Mendenhall, he has been released as an endorser of Champion apparel. Pittsburgh Steelers Art Rooney offered his thoughts on the situation: 

“I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments,” Rooney said. “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.”

Looks like the Steelers are slowly stepping away from this.

And while athlete’s like Lance Armstrong and Drew Brees basked in the patriotic glow on Twitter, other athletes (the majority being Black) are now more concerned than ever.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco: “Now that Osama has been killed what about those willing to revenge his death? How do u fight or defend against those willing 2 die 4 a cause?”

Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes:  “The news isn’t all that great I don’t think! I feel it just gives al qaeda more incentive to do something else. Wat u think?”

Even more of an eye-opening Tweet came from the Milwaukee Bucks  Chris Douglas-Roberts who Tweeted, “Is this a celebration??,” when hearing of Bin Laden’s death.

Here is some of what followed:

CDR: “Is this the beginning of a huge religious war? I hope not. (shaking my head).”

Follower: “@CDOUGLASROBERTS of course it’s a f—— celebration,moron….he killed nearly 3,000 Americans”

CDR: “I’m the moron. Are you a Christian. Would God be happy with you celebrating death? Or is your religion, ‘American’?

Roberts would continue on about his stance on the war and the killing of Bin Laden.

“It took 919,967 deaths to kill that one guy.

“It took 10 years & 2 Wars to kill that…guy.

“It cost us (USA) roughly $1,188,263,000,000 to kill that………..guy. But we #winning though. Haaaa. (Sarcasm).”

With more negative reaction being tweeted at Dougles-Roberts, he went on to clarify his position.

“What I’m sayin has nothing to do with 9/11 or that guy (Bin Laden). I still feel bad for the 9/11 families but I feel EQUALLY bad for the war families. …

“People are telling me to get out of America now b/c I’m against MORE INNOCENT people dying everyday? B/c I’m against a 10 year WAR?

“Whatever happened to our freedom of speech? That’s the problem. We don’t want to hear anything that isn’t our perspective.”

Not our perspective Chris – theirs.

16 Responses to “TSF Friday Fire: Should Athletes Remain Tight-Lipped On Hot-Button Issues?”

  1. Miranda says:

    99% of tweets are just a 140 character limit of people not thinking before they speak. I feel similar about facebook…too many people believe their every thought and action is worthy of public display and then are shocked when they find out that’s not so. I really am weary of most social media because I think its causing too many over-reactions to completely simple and unimportant shit. I’m constantly finding out that people I THOUGHT had common sense, are stupid as hell. Serious and critical thinking and the patience required to actually do it, is sorely lacking and nothing exemplifies that more than “da twitter”.

    That being said, its a shame what transpired with Mendenhall because he is one athlete that has been consistent with his political views and didn’t state one thing that should have been cause for offense by thinking individuals…and that’s the problem, thinking individuals are not the majority that are on twitter in the first damn place.

  2. Ron Glover says:

    I agree with that 100%, some people definitely put the cart before the horse on these outlets.

  3. RBD says:

    People aren’t any more or less restrained, composed, etc., than they’ve ever been. The difference is that in 2011, they have vehicles to express the things to the world immediately.

  4. des says:

    ” Freedom of speech, just watch what you say.”- Ice-T

  5. Origin says:

    @Des- if any one knows about that it sure is Ice-T said and what he said is the truth.

    @Miranda – I agree with everything you said. Another thing to point out is these kats in the mainstream media are straight up bitches who lack integrity. These fools search forums, facebook and twitter to find stories. They manipulate quotes to create stories also.

    Thats why we have hit pieces after the draft stating that Cam wanted to go on vacation instead of study his playbook. Even though the question was asked what was he going to get his mom for a gift and he said a vacation. Thats why here in Dallas sports radio talked for 2 hours today about some gossip from freaking dumb ass mediatakeout. That Gasol girlfriend left him because some Laker teamate’s wife is dropping salt on Gasol.

    This isn’t journalism this is straight up gossip……terez owens/ mediatake out/perez hilton/wendy williams website gossip. This is what mainstream sports journalism has become….gossip with a bunch of gotcha moments thrown in.

    When the someone like Mcnabb or Kobe will do interviews and talk all I hear from the media is how guarded they are and they won’t give them sound bites. Then when T.O., Adrian Peterson Ochocino says something thats not considered politically correct all I hear from the talking heads is just shutup and play. So which one is it I mean really these bastards want to play both sides of the fence.

    Last the most sad part of this is that fools actually tried to get on freaking Tashard Choice because he stated on twitter that he was upset that his show wasn’t on and didn’t realize that Osama was killed. In saying all of this we know the deal Choice and Mendenhall are easy targets. The media has had their sites locked on Choice (because of him asking for Vick’s autograph) and Mendenhall (because of his comments about the NFL slavery) for awhile. So any time these dudes do anything the media will jump on it. They are easy targets now and they know they will get instant mouse clicks and viewers. Thats how it works if you can’t find a villain invent one.

    Can someone explain to me how Tommy Tuberville the freaking coach of Texas Tech can go on Fox News and say that the president needs to show his Birth Certificate and no one bats an eye. But some young kats post on twitter and thats fucking news. And folks wonder why I don’t even watch mainstream news. Thats because I want to keep the few brain cells that I have left.

  6. Origin says:

    One thing I do like about twitter is that many of these athletes are able to express themselves. What we get from the media is filtered when they speak. But with twitter there is no filter…..I would say most fans think all athletes are just dumb jocks. But when you actually read some of the comments these guys say on twitter it proves that these guys are a lot smarter then what the foolish fans think.

    I always believed some of these athletes play the dumb blond paris hilton role when dealing with the media because they know they are in a no win situation when dealing with those fools.

  7. Miranda says:

    Everything you said Origin…Everything. The media is one freaking joke and that makes social media even more dangerous for these guys. Like you said, these parasites posing as journalists and analysts that get to reach millions of people each day are searching for reasons to get more clicks to their site, and more listeners and viewers to their shows…we dont live in a world with deep thinkers and people that want to be intellectually challenged…we live in a reality-TV cesspool. As such, the only way to protect themselves from the monster that is american media is for these athletes to understand the fight and I dont think they do.

  8. Miranda says:

    Tuberville wasn’t the only one Origin…that mentally challenged Orioles pitcher Luke Scott touted that birther nonsense too and he damn near got glorified for it.

  9. Origin says:

    Right sista Miranda………..but you know they don’t understand because the avg american doesn’t. Shit we got dumb lil kids doing poses and posting all types if stuff on face book. They lil asses don’t realize that they are putting this stuff on the internet for everyone to see. Thats the type of stuff that will follow you through your adult hood. I have a lil fast heffy (age 16) who is my wife’s cousin. We found out this lil heffa was posting pictures of herself on the facebook in her bra and panties. When her parents found out they got in her ass. I mean really you all on the internet posting pics of yourself?? What are we going to do with folks Miranda??

    We got teachers here in Dallas that have gotten fired because they were posting pics with them drinking on facebook. My wife created a facebook page for me (I never liked that stuff I believe in doing everything clandestine like, everyone doesn’t need to know your busines). Well I had to delete my face book page cause these jokers who I have as friends keep tagging pictures to my page. Folks were posting old college picks and stuff to my wall….fool I don’t want old pictures from when I was at freaknik in 1997 all on my wall, what you trying to get me in trouble…LOL!!!. Then these bad ass young in-laws I have got converstions between folks all on my wall cursing and shit.

    Man facebook is the devil………

    Oh and Dirk is steady getting touch fouls. Lord I hope the Mavs don’t make the finals….these Dallas fans are gonna burn this town down when Lebron and Wade mop that behind.

  10. Origin says:

    Luke Scott what the hell…………..you have got to be kidding. These folks got the nerve to say that Obama isn’t american. but no one still says crap. But they have been analyzing everything Cam Newton has said since November.

    But punk coach and a punk MLB player are basically calling the president some terrorist muslim and not a word. Even coons like Whitlock who want to call out every black person that does wrong can’t say a word about that. Sista I am too out done, all these bastards can go burn in hell.

  11. Miranda says:

    Exactly! I dont want pics of me from Black College Spring Break popping up on darn facebook. It amazes me how people simply dont understand the consequences of SHARING ON THE INTERNET. Kids are getting in trouble each and everyday over bs they post to their freaking wall – not to mention the adults. I’m glad your wife’s cousin got snatched over that mess.

    Reminds me of that video of that boy that tried to play “gangbanger” on facebook and his uncle came in and wore his azz out! LMAO

  12. eric daniels says:

    Not to harp on what I am seeing but the Mavericks are kicking the Lakers asses up and own the court they are quitting.

  13. eric daniels says:

    Ishmael Reed said it best when he called the Amerikkka media “THE JIM CROW MEDIA” Mendenhall hopefully learned a lesson.

    Bynum and Odom are going out bush league style hard fouling left and right who’s next Artest ?

  14. HarveyDent says:

    Social media is just like any other tool IMO like a hammer or an axe in that it only becomes a weapon if used that way. I have no problem with someone expressing themselves if that’s how they feel but if they’re backing up their opinion with facts and context then they have my respect. Mendenhall, AP, and other athletes whom the mainstream deem as controversial are coming from a context that many don’t bother to consider. Just like every other citizen of this country, athletes have the freedom to voice their opinions and I’d like to think they know the consequences that can come their way for voicing those same opinions. As Origin said, many of these athletes of all races are smarter than they’re given credit for and don’t live in a self-absorbed bubble of privilege that the media would have us believe to set up a gulf between them and the fans.

    The Age of the Apolitical Athlete is dying and it excites me to see these intelligent young people fearlessly support their opinions instead of shutting up and playing.

  15. Miranda says:

    Speaking of “da twitter”………….Reggie Bush is smacking around Skip Bayless….hilarious

    http://twitter.com/#!/reggie_bush

  16. Origin says:

    Sista Miranda….yeah speaking of twitter 2 of sportscenters top stories today are twitter comments by Bush and Dwight Howard….insane.

    HAHA sportscenter won’t run those twitter comments Bush made. See this is another reason why I like these athletes going on twitter. They have the ability to call these fools in the media out.