Pittsburgh Steelers

Rashard Mendenhall the latest former Steeler to take shot at Big Ben

Former Pittsburgh Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall joined Antonio Brown in taking a shot at Ben Roethlisberger, but later seemed to retract his criticism

If Ben Roethlisberger thought Antonio Brown’s trade to Oakland was going to end the trend of teammates criticizing him, he was sorely mistaken. Now another former teammate has taken to Twitter to take a shot at the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.

Rashard Mendenhall, a former Steelers running back, responded to a tweet early on Thursday morning calling Brown a quitter for missing the Steelers last game in 2018 by essentially blaming Roethlisberger and calling him a racist.

“Alright, I’ll end the mystery…B’s racist and @AB84’s black,” Mendenhall wrote. “He had to catch balls from a racist quarterback. Every honest player knows it, it’s not a big deal. He was just supposed to take his lickings and move on, like a slave for real.”

Mendenhall, though, seemed to backtrack from those comments in another tweet just a few hours later. “Clearly it’s no fun, when EVERYONE’s the accused…Please allow the dialogue in sports to be equal,” he wrote. “Why’s it so easy to shoot at one player, but not the other? B’s not racist. Just like AB’s not a dirtbag. #letsbefair.”

Since the Steelers season ended on Dec. 30, Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler, hasn’t been shy about expressing how he feels about the Steelers organization. He criticized general manager Kevin Colbert for calling the rest of the Steelers players Roethlisberger’s “children,” and said of Roethlisberger that he acts like he owns the team.

“The type of guy he is. He feels like he’s the owner,” Brown said on LeBron James’ HBO show in March.

The tumultuous relationship between Brown and the Steelers franchise ended on March 13, when the wide receiver was traded to the Oakland Raiders. The trade, however, still hasn’t stopped him from continuing his tirade against Roethlisberger and another Steelers receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Mendenhall, the Steelers first-round draft pick in 2008, spent five seasons in Pittsburgh, reaching the 1,000-yard mark in both 2009 and 2010. He rushed for a career-high 13 touchdowns in 2010 and started for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV that year. He signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2013 before retiring at the age of 26 to pursue a career as an author, finishing with 4,236 career rushing yards and 37 touchdowns.

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