The NFL loves to slap its shield and team logos on a variety of merchandise, from hats and shirts to pet collars and golf club covers. The league also likes to roll create generic lines of clothing that they slightly tweak for each team every year.
It’s that group of merchandise that’s recently created a problem for the league, because they infringed on a trademark held by a company that doesn’t exactly like the league office.
On Tuesday, Barstool Sports noticed that the league was selling t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Sundays Are For The…”, followed by the team name.
That, of course, is a blatant ripoff of Barstool’s “Saturdays Are For The Boys” moniker that TMZ reported is trademarked.
A cursory search of Fanatics, the league’s official partner, reveals shirts for all 32 teams in both men’s and women’s cuts.
Understandably, people at Barstool are pissed off, and this paragraph from a blog post sums it up quite succinctly.
But this I cannot stand for. I’m not letting this rat fuck Roger Goodell pull one over on me. I’m not letting him stand at the podium at the Super Bowl, say he’s never heard of Barstool Sports, then start slinging SAFTB gear in the NFL.com store. That’s fucking bullshit and I wouldn’t be a man if I let it slide. I don’t know what I’m gonna do because I’m not entirely sure that this is actionable, as we don’t own every day of the week, but I’ve never let the rules stop me from making a scene before, Roger. I’ll get Charlie Kelly to draw up a C&D in crayon and I’ll go sit my ass in the lobby at Park Ave, a place where I’m banned from enter, again. I’ll have Michael Portnoy Esq bury you up to your eyeballs in paperwork. I’ll start selling so many goddamn NFL copyright infringing t-shirts it’ll make your head spin.
Barstool founder Dave Portnoy also released a video (during which he remained pretty calm) blasting the league.
My main takeaway from this beef is that it was *completely avoidable* from the NFL. They damn well know which outlet popularized the phrase, and they damn well know how faithful and devoted Barstool’s audience is. They also know how much Barstool’s management despises the league office (SEE: The Roger Goodell clown towel giveaway before this season’s Opening Night game between the Patriots and Chiefs), and that antagonizing Barstool in a way that was completely unnecessary would just be chumming the waters for Barstool’s fanbase.
If you’re the NFL, what do you gain from selling these shirts? Merchandise sales maybe into the tens of thousands, at the cost of pissing off an outlet that despises you even more? It really doesn’t seem worthwhile to me.