In a stunning display of bipartisanship the entire state of Louisiana has successfully told the NFL where to stick its attempts to prevent local merchants from selling t-shirts with the phrase “Who Dat” (a popular Saints cheer) and the fleur-de-lis .
Last week the WSJ reported that the NFL had issued cease-and-desist orders against vendors in New Orleans who were selling products with the wording.
The league claimed that using the phrase is likely to “confuse the purchasing public into believing that your items” are sponsored by the NFL.
The phrase (and the fleur-de-lis, naturally) predates the NFL. Louisiana Senator, David Vitter (R), wrote a letter to Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, informing the organization that he intended to print up a batch of “Who Dat” shirts and invited the league to sue him.
“This letter will also serve as formal legal notice that I am having t-shirts printed that say “WHO DAT say we can’t print Who Dat!” for widespread sale in commerce. Please either drop your present ridiculous position or sue me.”
The governor, the state legislature and the Louisiana AG also got into the fray, forcing the NFL to give up.
“People can use Who Dat all they want if it doesn’t include NFL and Saints trademarks,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, to the AP. “We explained that we would contact merchants only if a Who Dat item also contained NFL or Saints trademarks or if it is falsely claimed that an unauthorized item is affiliated with the Saints or NFL.”
Good work, NFL. We thought that because you stopped threatening churches who projected the game on a large screen that we wouldn’t have anything Superbowl-themed to write this year. Phew.