In the wave of patriotism following the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of US Navy SEALs, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall has gotten a bit of flak for a series of tweets condemning the outpouring of joy seen among Americans when the news broke.
On his Twitter account, Mendenhall reflected upon the jubilant reaction in some Americans, and voiced some doubts about the official story regarding 9/11:
“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…
“@dkeller23 We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style
“I believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.
“Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.
“For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn in hell and piss on his ashes, I ask how would God feel about your heart?
“There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to #think”
While September 11th “truthers” do come in for a bit of heat due to their opinions, it’s a bit interesting that people responded so vociferously even though Mendenhall merely asked people to reflect and ‘not’ judge. Steelers President Art Rooney attempted to diffuse outcry in a statement distancing the team from the running back’s opinions:
“I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. 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.”
Was Mendenhall’s series of tweets offensive or accurate? Is it ever decent to revel in someone’s death, even if they’ve committed horrific crimes?