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Champion drops Mendenhall over bin Laden tweets

- Associated Press - Friday, May 6, 2011

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Champion sports apparel company has ended its endorsement deal with Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall over Twitter remarks the player made criticizing people for celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Friday that Champion "strongly disagreed" with the tweets and ended a new four-year contract the player recently signed. Mendenhall has endorsed the company's products since entering the league in 2008.

Mendenhall on Monday questioned the public celebrations of bin Laden's death, and whether the World Trade Center towers were really brought down on Sept. 11, 2001, only by crashing two hijacked airliners into the buildings.

Mendenhall has since clarified his remarks by saying Americans were insulted when some people celebrated the terrorist attacks masterminded by bin Laden, and that others might view Americans celebrating bin Laden's death the same way.

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