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#pounditThursday, March 4, 2021

LeBron James’ camp responds to lawsuit from youth organization over slogan

LeBron James

A lawsuit was filed against LeBron James’ media company Uninterrupted this week claiming the brand stole its slogan from a Maryland youth organization, but Uninterrupted says there is no truth to the claim.

Game Plan, a Maryland-based nonprofit that works with young athletes to help them achieve success in all phases of life, says Uninterrupted stole the slogan “I Am More Than an Athlete” and has been profiting from it. According to TMZ, court documents filed by Game Plan allege that LeBron got the idea to use the phrase for Uninterrupted when he saw Game Plan staffers wearing shirts that said “I Am More Than an Athlete” at a 2017 game between the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers.

“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.

The lawsuit claims LeBron began using the phrase as a response to FOX News host Laura Ingraham infamously telling him to “shut up and dribble.” James shared an Instagram post that featured the phrase right after the incident.

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A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on

Game Plan says they obtained the trademark to the phrase “I Am More Than an Athlete” in 2018, and they are seeking at least $33 million to recoup money LeBron and Uninterrupted have made from the phrase through deals with Nike, ESPN and more. On Thursday, Uninterrupted issued a response.

“The complaint filed by Game Plan today is meritless and contains numerous factual inaccuracies,” LeBron’s company said in a statement, via TMZ. “Uninterrupted owns prior rights in and to the ‘More Than An Athlete’ trademark.”

The incident between LeBron and Ingraham became a huge story, but that doesn’t mean the phrase was stolen. That will now be up for the courts to decide.


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