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By TOM BREEN
Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is suing for $1 million in damages after his tweets about Osama bin Laden and Sept. 11 led the Champion sports apparel company to drop his endorsement deal.

Mendenhall’s lawyers filed the lawsuit Monday in US District Court in North Carolina against Winston Salem-based Hanesbrands Inc., Champion’s parent company. The complaint says the company breached its contract by firing Mendenhall after his remarks on Twitter.

In May, Mendenhall wrote tweets questioning the public celebrations of bin Laden’s death, and whether the World Trade Center towers were really brought down on Sept. 11, 2001, by the crashing of two hijacked airliners into the buildings.

Shortly after, the company ended its endorsement deal with Mendenhall.

Calls to Hanesbrands and Mendenhall’s lawyer were not immediately returned Tuesday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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