Steelers halfback Rashard Mendenhall, who talks softly during the football season, fired up a twitstorm on Twitter with some controversial comments Monday evening about the death of Osama bin Laden.
After he retweeted -- or repeated -- an announcement that ended with "Bin Laden is Dead," Mendenhall fired off a series of tweets that seemed to question why the terrorist leader had to die and whether the planes the terrorists flew into the World Trade Center towers were really what brought down the buildings.
It began with his first tweet:
"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 ..."
He quickly followed by retweeting a comment sent to him that read, "I'm not convinced he was even behind the attacks we have really seen no evidence to prove it other than the gov telling us"
Mendenhall then tweeted a follow-up comment of his own:
"We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style"
And then another from Mendenhall:
"I believe in God. I believe we're ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge."
He quickly followed with another:
"Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves."
And then another:
"For those of you who said you want to see Bin Laden burn in hell ... I ask how would God feel about your heart?"
Apparently after he started receiving negative comments, Mendenhall tweeted: "There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to #think"
And then his 30-minute series of tweets stopped.
Not surprising, Mendenhall received a wave of reaction on Twitter, much of it negative and filled with profanity.
His comments follow several weeks after he compared the lot of NFL players to that of slaves in the old South.
Some other comments sent directly to @R_Mendenhall on Twitter Monday evening:
"A new moron has entered the fray ..."
"@R_Mendenhall believes Bin Laden wasn't behind 9/11 & making millions in the NFL is = to slavery. And I thought his SB fumble was bad enough"
"I've heard him say that he wants all Americans to die, is that good enough for you?"
"So is @R_Mendenhall going to tell us we shouldn't hate Hitler next?"
"My guess is that @R_Mendenhall will not be tweeting for too much longer ..."
"Are you a structural engineer now? Would love to see you spout this nonsense to a widow or orphan of 9/11."
"Between this and agreeing with the slavery comment I sincerely hope you're not a Steeler anymore."
"@R_Mendenhall needs to get back on the field before he says something again."
A few were supportive, such as: "Continue to speak think freely and be your own man."
Mendenhall could not be reached, by phone or by Twitter, for comment. A Steelers spokesman said they would not have any immediate comment on Mendenhall's tweets.