Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has always had a mind toward business and protecting his name and likeness. Not only does third party merchandise mean others are profiting off Jackson’s name without permission, it sends a potentially confusing message to fans that Jackson may have endorsed a certain product when he really didn’t. That’s why on Wednesday, Jackson filed a lawsuit against Amazon in the Southern District of Florida federal court.
In the complaint, which was obtained by PennLive and Bloomberg Law, the reigning MVP accused Amazon of promoting and facilitating the sale of products featuring Jackson’s likeness and registered trademarks without his or the NFL’s permission. Products with the lines “Lamarvelous,” “Action Jackson” and “Not bad for a running back,” on them were mentioned as being on Amazon and the lawsuit stated that Jackson had asked Amazon to remove those items from their site.
Jackson has apparel through his own company, Era 8 Apparel with many of those same trademarks on his merchandise. Jackson doesn’t yet have an endorsement deal with another sports apparel company so Era 8 Apparel, and places Jackson may authorize the selling of Era 8 Apparel products, is the extent of where people can buy his official merchandise. Jackson claims that by having those products on Amazon, customers may believe that he entered into an agreement with Amazon which the lawsuit claims is not the case.
As far as what Jackson is seeking in damages, he’s looking for the “the court to require Amazon to count sales it generated from merchandise that features Jackson’s name, image or likeness and ban the website from offering such items without authorization.” Jackson is also seeking additional damages that he feels “Amazon inflicted upon him and his company.”
What makes this a rather interesting case is that Amazon is an NFL media partner, streaming Thursday night games since 2017. It’s unknown whether or not this would help or hurt Jackson’s case given potential legal technicalities that may be argued but it’s likely the NFL is not loving this.