In a series of tweets on Monday afternoon, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall(notes) questioned Osama bin Laden's guilt in 9/11, theorized that the hijacked planes didn't bring down the World Trade Centers, claimed people celebrating bin Laden's death had never heard him speak, wondered whether the government lied about bin Laden's role in history and mentioned that we had only heard one side of the story of the death of the world's most wanted terrorist.
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On Wednesday, Mendenhall wrote a 500-word blog post, concisely titled "Clarification," in which he apologized for none of those things. He instead chose to say sorry to those he "unintentionally harmed" for the one reasonable point he made on Monday: that maybe people were celebrating bin Laden's death a little too much. There was nothing about the tweet he deleted on Monday (doubting bin Laden's role in 9/11) or the one he took down Tuesday after his truther comments came under fire. He only wanted to focus on the most benign comment he made: "What kind of person celebrates death?"
Go read the post if you want, I won't subject you to it here. It's meant to be an introspective look into Mendenhall's empirical philosophy on life but comes across as closed-minded gibberish. For someone who seems to pride himself on thinking about things from all angles, he does a good job of ignoring the fact that he took down his two most inflammatory tweets and refusing to acknowledge the actual criticisms of his comments.
We all know people like Mendenhall who grandstand by making a point contrary to conventional thinking merely to prove that they're on a deeper plain than you. Some of the time it's harmless -- "The Beatles ruined music" -- other times it's a veiled defense of one of the most reviled men in the world. The fallacy that all of those people make is that every opinion, no matter how outrageous, should be treated with respect and consideration.
Mendenhall's words deserve neither. Nor does his phony apology.
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