Steelers Littergate: Anti-litter Group Should Use Sanders Mistake As Teaching Opportunity

Let me start this post off by saying that I have littered before. I have done it more than once in my life as well. Not recently mind you, but I have done it. In addition, I have never been ticketed or fined for it. Boy, that feels good to get that off my chest.

It seems that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown have also littered in their past as well, only both were caught and fined for it. The third year wide receivers pleaded guilty Monday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court to leaving boxes beside a private Dumpster in Beltzhoover back in November of 2010. A judge fined each $300 plus court costs. The incident has now cost Sanders his spot as the spokesman for the anti-littering campaign for the time being. The commercial that features Sanders, that you can see below, has also been pulled.

“We would certainly not have used him as a spokesman for the campaign had we known,” said Pennsylvania Resources Council Regional Director David Mazza, according a story in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Mazza said on Monday that it is pulling Sanders\’ ad until they could talk to him and get his side of the story.

Now I am not going to sit here and tell you that both Sanders and Brown have done no wrong here, but I do not believe that their intentions were to litter. They made a bad decision in placing trash, or in this case empty boxes, in or around a dumpster that did belong to them. I am sure that none of you reading this post have ever done the same thing or something similar during your lifetime. I am also pretty sure that Mr. Mazza has never littered before in his lifetime as well. The difference between Sanders and Brown, as opposed to the majority of us, is that they got caught and cited for it.

What Mazza and his group should do is use this incident as a perfect opportunity to teach and educate the public. Mazza stated in the story that he doesn\’t condone the unauthorized use of private trash containers, and that the campaign doesn\’t target that type of littering. Perhaps it should going forward, and Sanders should be given the opportunity to educate the public that throwing trash away in a dumpster that does not belong to you, or without permission, is littering as well. What a great way to turn a negative into a positive.

Both Sanders and Brown have been model teammates since coming to Pittsburgh, and hopefully both will be faces of the franchise for many more years to come. Once Mazza gets Sanders side of the story, hopefully it will turn out that Sanders can help others learn from his mistake.

If you want to show your support for Sanders, you can call (412) 488-7490 x246 or email

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