*Rashard Mendenhall on Wednesday posted a blog entry apologizing for and trying to clarify his controversial tweets regarding Osama bin Laden’s death, reports ESPN.
The Pittsburgh Steelers running back made headlines with comments posted on his Twitter page Monday after news of bin Laden’s death broke.
“What kind of person celebrates death?” he wrote. “It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side…”
He tried to clarify those comments Wednesday.
“This controversial statement was something I said in response to the amount of joy I saw in the event of a murder. I don’t believe that this is an issue of politics or American pride; but one of religion, morality, and human ethics,” he wrote.
After quoting a bible verse, he wrote: “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 world celebrated death on our soil. Earlier this week, parts of the world watched us in horror celebrating a man’s death.”
He apologized later in the posting and said he was just trying to “generate conversation.”
“I apologize for the timing as such a sensitive matter, but it was not meant to do harm,” he wrote. “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 it to think.”
Mendenhall on Monday also posted a tweet making a reference to the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style,” he tweeted.
Mendenhall has since deleted the 9/11-related tweet. He didn’t address the tweet or its deletion in his blog posting Wednesday.
As previously reported, Steelers president Art Rooney II on Tuesday released a statement regarding Mendenhall’s tweets.
“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.”
On Wednesday, Mendenhall wrote that he in no way supports bin Laden or is “against the USA.”
“I understand how devastating 9/11 was to this country and to the people whose families were affected. Not just in the US, but families all over the world who had relatives in the World Trade Centers. My heart goes out to the troops who fight for our freedoms everyday, not being certain if they will have the opportunity to return home, and the families who watch their loved ones bravely go off to war.”
As a result of the controversy, Mendenhall saw a spike in his followers on Twitter. On Tuesday afternoon, he had 13,631. On Wednesday afternoon, he had 36,914.