Thursday, June 9, 2011

Saltzman Says...Mendenhall Update

Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin, which is some ways is Rashard Mendenhall's boss, spoke out yesterday about the comments Mendenhall made following the assassination of Osama Bin Laden.

"He shouldn't have said it," Tomlin said when asked about the controversy. "Yes, it is a freedom of speech issue. Yes, he is a young man, and he has a right to his opinion. But sometimes these young men got to understand the positions that they hold and the influence that they have and to be highly sensitive to that.

"I think that, more than anything, in those chain of events, he was not sensitive to the power of his words or his positions on that subject or on any subject. I think life is an education. I think these young men or continually educated to what comes along with being them, and that’s just an example of it."

"Here's the thing that I think a lot of people miss, is that that kid was 12 years old on 9/11. He doesn't have an idea of what pre-9/11 adult life was like in America. He doesn't understand the ramifications of how life changed in America on that day (be)cause he was a kid."

Saltzman Says...

Tomlin is doing two things in my opinion:  First, he is trying to make sure the public knows that the Pittsburgh Steelers do not agree with Mendenhall's view.  Second, he is trying to make Mendenhall seem naive on the matter instead of opinionated.

This rubs me the wrong way in the same way Mendenhall's vilification did.  All Mendenhall said was be careful what you wish for and how excited you get about the murder of a human being because of the worldwide reaction. The same excitement some were showing after Bin Laden's assassination, is the same excitement others around the world showed when the World Trade Center came down. 

"An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." ~ Mahatma Gandhi. 

Americans get very patriotic when disaster strikes.  We saw the love during Katrina, we saw the patriotism after 9/11 and we even saw it locally after Bryan Stow was beaten outside of Dodger Stadium.  Americans have an amazing capacity to love.  That is what makes it so confusing, how we also seem to have an amazing capacity to hate.  Hate is a four letter word as evil as any four letter word that exists, and it is up to us as intelligent, informed Americans, to not assume that Mendenhall or anyone else is un-American for giving their opinion.

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