An anti-littering TV ad featuring Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders has been temporarily pulled after it was discovered that the athlete was fined for littering in 2010.
“We would certainly not have used him as a spokesman for the campaign had we known,” said David Mazza, regional director for the Pennsylvania Resources Council, which has teamed with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to fight litter.
According to MSNBC News, Sanders and his teammate Antonio Brown were fined $300 for leaving boxes on the ground next to an outdoor trash container they didn’t own in 2010.
After learning of the violation, the Pennsylvania Resources Council scrapped an ad titled “Don’t Trash My Turf” in which Sanders encourages fellow citizens of Pittsburgh to abstain from inappropriately disposing of waste.
While the two Steelers recievers have already pleaded guilty to the littering charges, Sanders, 25, suggested his public appeal could be recycled given he apparently didn’t mean to break the law.
“It was just a small situation, but it’s all cleared up. It’s all cleared up. Just a miscommunication. (I) never meant to do anything wrong. (I) just didn’t know any better,” he said.
Sanders went on to say that the whole incident is a big misunderstanding and that he still wants to be a part of the anti-litter campaign.
“I think littering is more throwing trash on the ground and knowing that you’re wrong for it,” he told the Tribune-Review. “I actually put the trash in the trash can. That’s the big difference.”
When asked if he was a “litterbug,” the Steelers wideout responded “not at all.”