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SBD/May 6, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship
Champion Dropping Mendenhall As Endorser After Controversial Tweets
Published May 6, 2011
NO DELETING ONCE IT IS OUT THERE: ESPN's Jim Rome said Mendenhall is "entitled to his own opinion, he can even have a Twitter account." Rome: "He just needs to knows the Internet is in ink, and deleting those tweets does not erase them." He added there are a "lot of guys that have helped build their brands" with Twitter, and there are a "lot of good things about social networking." Rome: "But if you're not careful, it can definitely bite you." ESPN's Jeff Chadiha said, "What's tough for athletes to recognize is that they're so used to being loved, so used to having people clean up for their mistakes. When you do these kinds of things, it can cause you all kinds of problems" ("Jim Rome Is Burning," ESPN, 5/5). CNBC's Darren Rovell said there is "great value by being on Twitter." Rovell: "Dwight Howard is a whole lot more valuable, LeBron James is a whole lot more valuable than Kobe Bryant because Kobe Bryant isn't on Twitter and they are. So I hope that it doesn't come down to it being about the medium because again, it's not about the medium. It's just being a little bit smarter" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 5/5). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan: "If you're going to say something inflammatory and tweet it, why don't you just wait a little while, make sure you really mean it and then to be doubly sure, run it by your agent before you send it out there and cause yourself a major headache" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 5/5).
CAN'T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS: In St. Louis, Bryan Burwell writes under the header, "Athletes Have A Right To Speak Out." Whether you "agree with Mendenhall's opinions or not, he should have the right to them and his birthright guarantees him the freedom to express them." Burwell: "We can't have it both ways. We can't pick for convenience all the conversations about race, religion or politics that please us and say 'that's okay,' then spin around and scream to the high heavens when some jock picks a side of a debate that curdles our stomachs" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/6). ESPN's Jemele Hill said athletes "get lambasted every single time that they say something, but on the other hand you have this other crowd pulling for them to be socially responsible, more aware." Hill: "We've even said we're tired of one-dimensional athletes. We can't have it both ways." Cardinals K Jay Feely said all the media is "doing is reporting what you put out there, and it's incumbent upon you to be careful with how you represent yourself" ("Outside The Lines," ESPN, 5/5).