- LeBron James famously said, “I’m more than an athlete” after a Fox News host told him to “shut up and dribble.”
- Game Plan, a Maryland-based non-profit, claims that LeBron stole their slogan after seeing members of their group wearing it on their shirts at a Cavaliers vs. Wizards game in 2017.
- Uninterrupted – LeBron’s company – says the complaint is “meritless.”
Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James is never far from the headlines. Whether he’s registering triple-doubles or paying for hundreds of kids to go to college, he’s nothing if not newsworthy.
This time he’s the focal point of a $33 million lawsuit that claims he stole a non-profit’s slogan after seeing it at an NBA game in 2017.
Game Plan may own a trademark, but LeBron James has resources
The Game Plan organization runs educational programs to help kids succeed in high school, college, and beyond.
They claim to have registered the rights to the More Than An Athlete trademark for use on t-shirts before LeBron James and his company ever used the slogan.
The organization even alleges that LeBron stole their idea after seeing it at a Cleveland Cavaliers game:
The attendance at the game gave Game Plan tremendous exposure, as it was able to gain attention from John Wall in front of his peers, including the (arguably) most famous athlete in the world, as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, at the time, LeBron James.
The problem that Game Plan is going to run into is the vast legal resources someone like LeBron has access to.
That’s if their intention is actually winning the lawsuit.
It’s not just LeBron James they’re gunning for
Game Plan isn’t just chasing LeBron. They’re also gunning for Nike and ESPN.
Good luck with that! It’s a ridiculously huge ask to win in court against one company of that size, but three?
This tells me that they’re not looking to win. They’ve quoted $33 million as the sum they want in damages. But I’m guessing they’d be happy to settle for far less out of court.
This isn’t a good look for anyone involved
LeBron’s Uninterrupted company dismisses the lawsuit as meritless and full of factual inaccuracies.
And maybe it is.
But the truth is that being sued by a non-profit that works with youth in local communities is not a good look for LeBron James or any of the companies involved.
Did LeBron see those t-shirts and steal their idea for a slogan? No one will ever know besides LeBron, and he certainly won’t admit to that.
My suspicion is that they’ll pay this group off to make them quietly go away. The bad PR from actually defending this accusation in court, even if the defendants win, simply isn’t worth it.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.