The Black Cats boss continues to be frustrated with his side's defending and singled out the Ghana international for a poor second half display in front of home fans
Trailing 3-1 after goals from Jody Craddock, Steven Fletcher and George Elikobi cancelled out Stephane Sessegnon’s strike, Bruce hauled Mensah off with only two minutes remaining, prompting a frustrated response from the Ghanaian as he stormed down the tunnel and refused to acknowledge his replacement.
Bruce said: "Things like that happen in football. He's got a good right to be disappointed - I was disappointed in his second-half performance.
"Things happen in the heat of the game. He is understandably upset, he didn't want to come off - we will deal with that and we will live with that and we will move on.
"In his eyes, he did not give a jot who was coming on. He was just thinking one thing, total disappointment in himself, which happens in the heat of the moment.
"The one thing about John Mensah is he is a highly respectable man. However, in his actions today, he has let himself down."
Despite being mathematically safe, the defeat means Sunderland have won only twice in their last 13 outings and their manager admitted he is frustrated with the Black Cats' inability to defend properly, a problem he believes is at the root of his side’s poor form.
He added: "Everybody realises the problems. However, there is still no hiding place.
"We have conceded three against Fulham, three against West Brom and three against Wolves today at home - that to me is the disappointment.
"We haven't defended properly, we haven't shown the right resilience, and of course I am playing people out of position back there. It's been a big frustration."
Sunderland travel to lowly West Ham United on the final day and despite their poor run of form, can still finish in a solid mid-table position if they record a victory.