NFL Nation: Osama bin Laden

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook took running back Rashard Mendenhall to task for this recent tweet:

Don't have a problem with what Mendenhall said even though I disagree with it. He is simply sharing his opinion in what has been a frustrating time for every Steelers player. If fans can criticize Mendenhall and the players, he can respond back that he believes true fans are the ones who give unwavering support.

This is much different than 17 months ago when Mendenhall wrote controversial tweets regarding Osama bin Laden's death. And, in comparison to how many athletes have dealt angry fans on Twitter, Mendenhall handled himself with great restraint. As Cook pointed out in his Post-Gazette column, other Steelers have not done so. After the playoff loss at Denver, center Maurkice Pouncey told one fan "I'm rich" and "U wish u had my life!!" A few years ago, then-Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes wrote to a fan: "u should try finding the worst thing that you could drink n kill urself."

Cook had a problem with Mendenhall's tweet, calling it "stupid," because he shouldn't call out one of the most supportive fan bases in sports. Sure, it's never a smart move to take on fans. I believe fans are still fans even when they criticize. They're passionate about their team and need to vent when things go wrong. But, in an age where athletes tend to embarrass themselves on Twitter, Mendenhall didn't do anything wrong this time.

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