LeBron James sued over ‘More Than An Athlete’ slogan

Tanya Simon
February 22, 2020

LeBron James is being accused of stealing the slogan "I Am More Than An Athlete" by a Maryland based nonprofit.

Game Plan Inc. says it applied for the trademark for "I Am More Than An Athlete" in June 2016 and was granted it two years later. Uninterrupted began using the slogan in early 2018 after FOX News host Laura Ingraham criticized James' political views and derisively told him on a broadcast to "shut up and dribble". The phrase, which he started using in 2018, can often be found on his shoes, tee shirts, sweatpants and other bits of apparel.

James started using the phrase in 2018, and it quickly expanded to appear on Nike clothing, his ESPN series and the National Basketball Association 2K video game.

According to TMZ, a youth organization in Maryland called Game Plan is now suing the Los Angeles Lakers superstar as they believe he completely ripped off the "More Than An Athlete" phrase. He even posted a photo of the phrase with the hashtag #WeWillNotShutUpAndDribble. They named Uninterrupted, ESPN, Nike and the creators of the National Basketball Association 2K video game series in the lawsuit for using the phrase.

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"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 lawsuit states.

However, James" company Uninterrupted called the suit "meritless'.

Attorney's for Uninterrupted have responded to Game Plan's accusations with the following statement: "The complaint filed by Game Plan today is meritless and contains numerous factual inaccuracies". The group is seeking $33 million and injunctive relief, which would require Uninterrupted, his media company, to stop using the phrase. "Uninterrupted owns prior rights in and to the More Than An Athlete trademark".

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