The Trib asked Steelers president Art Rooney II about running back Rashard Mendenhall's controversial recent Twitter comments about Osama Bin Laden, and Rooney sounded baffled, saying "it is hard to explain" what Mendenhall meant.
"I have not spoken with Rashard, so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he means with his recent Twitter comments," Rooney said in a statement. "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."
In response to the news of Bin Laden's death, Mendenhall tweeted that expressions of hatred for Bin Laden were built on ignorance:
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 also questioned Bin Laden's role in 9/11:
I'm not convinced he was even behind the attacks we have really seen no evidence to prove it other than the gov telling us
Mendenhall's comments have understandably caused a stir among Steelers fans and throughout the nation. He is, of course, hardly the first athlete whose Twitter account has caused negative publicity - as James Walker points out, tweets are about as close as athletes can get to a direct form of communication. Of course, an interview is a pretty direct form of communication too, but there you have an audience in front of you. Mendenhall might really believe what he said, but it probably wouldn't have ever come out if Twitter didn't exist