Earth to Mendenhall: time to come home
If you're a rational person and believe sports is a microcosm of the real world, the recent Twitter remarks about Osama bin Laden from Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall have to make you cringe.
Despite the huge body of evidence linking bin Laden to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the airliner that crashed in Shanksville, Pa., Mendenhall apparently remains unconvinced the al-Quaida leader was involved.
"We'll never know what really happened," he tweeted recently. "I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."
He also castigated Americans for celebrating the death of bin Laden: "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. . ."
Apparently, it doesn't matter to Mendenhall that we have heard bin Laden speak -- via video and audio-tapes -- urging his followers to kill Americans and destroy the U.S.
And apparently it doesn't matter to Mendenhall that dozens -- if not hundreds -- of scientists and engineers have explained precisely how a skyscraper can buckle and collapse if a jetliner loaded with fuel crashes into it.
What else can you say to a man who -- at least metaphorically -- refuses to open his eyes?
Thankfully, Steelers president Art Rooney II released a ststement Tuesday basically disavowing Mendenhall's remarks and wondering what planet he's on.
One thing's clear: Mendenhall's remarks have created a furor in Pittsburgh. It'll be interesting to see how he reacts to it.