LeBron James’ media company, Uninterrupted, is being sued for $33 million by a Maryland youth group over its use of the “More Than An Athlete” phrase, which has appeared on material produced by James, ESPN reports.
According to court docs filed in federal court on Tuesday, Game Plan Inc., a nonprofit focused on youth development, applied to trademark the phrase “I Am More Than An Athlete” in June 2016. They were awarded rights to the trademark with a GP logo on June 5th, 2018. That same year, James began to use the slogan following Laura Ingraham, a Fox commentator, complaining that the NBA star should “shut up and dribble” as opposed to speaking out about politics and other social issues.
ESPN, Nike, and the maker of the NBA 2K video game were also mentioned in the suit for using the phrase in material produced by James.
In addition to financial assets, the group is seeking injunctive relief, which requires Uninterrupted to cease using the phrase on any of its products or initiatives going forward.
In a statement, Uninterrupted dismissed the allegations and denied any wrongdoing.
“The complaint filed by Game Plan today is meritless and contains numerous factual inaccuracies. Uninterrupted owns prior rights in and to the More Than An Athlete trademark.”