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Football Players Tweet May Have Been Insufficient to Nullify his Contract
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After Osama Bin Laden was shot by the military, Rashard Mendenhall, a player of the Pittsburgh Steelers, made some tweets that cost him his contract with Hanesbrands. He subsequently fought it  in court.

The comments in question:

What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they never even heard speak. We’ve only heard one side . . .

  
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I only believe in God. I believe we’re ALL his children. And I believe HE is the ONE and ONLY judge.

Those who judge others, will also be judged themselves.

For those of you who said we want to see Bin Laden burn in hell and piss on his ashes, I ask how would God feel about your heart.

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There is not an ignorant bone in my body. I just encourage you to #think

Hanesbrands “disagreed” with Mendenhall’s comments, and took it as sufficient to dismiss him from the contract. As The Law and Technology Marketing Blog explains:



Rashard Mendenhall plays professional football as a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Mendenhall entered into an endorsement contract with Hanesbrands, which owns the Champion brand. The agreement between Hanesbrands and Mendenhall had a “morals clause,” which originally said that Hanesbrands could terminate the agreement if Mendenhall was arrested, charged with, or indicted for a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude. This clause was later amended to provide that Hanesbrands could terminate the agreement if, in addition to being charged with or indicted for a crime, Mendenhall:

[Became] involved in any situation or occurrence . . . tending to bring Mendenhall into public disrepute, contempt, scandal, or ridicule, or tending to shock, insult, or offend the majority of the consuming public . . . . [Hanesbrands’] decision on all matters arising under [this section] shall be conclusive.

I love love LOVE this case! It’s an instant Contract Law classic. I could see the opinion, or its facts, appearing in Contract Law casebooks and courses throughout the country. In addition to the star power/pro sports angle, it’s a rich springboard for intellectual pursuits[.]

Chief Judge James A, Jr. Agreed that the company might have gone too far, since the contract required the majority of the public to be insulted. He has a case of reinstating his contract or challenging the company for reimbursement.



 

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