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Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall responds to criticism of Osama bin Laden tweets

05.04.11 at 2:07 pm ET
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Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall, who came under fire after criticizing Americans for celebrating following reports of Osama bin Laden‘s death, posted a blog entry Wednesday in attempt to minimize the damage.

Wrote Mendenhall:”I apologize for 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 to think.”

Mendenhall’s representative at Priority Sports, Rob Lefko, insisted that the apology came from the player himself, telling ESPN, “This was truly, word for word, Rashard’s thoughts. It was not written by anyone else and not crafted by anyone else.”

Mendenhall explained his thinking in Wednesday’s post.

“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.”

Added Mendenhall: “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 word celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.”

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