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Who Dat…Owned by the NFL?? I Don’t THINK So

January 28th, 2010 by shawn · No Comments


So the NFL is sending “cease and desist” letters to local shop owners (here in New Orleans) because they print and sell “Who Dat” t-shirts. Why? Because (and this is news to me) the NFL supposedly owns (or copyrighted, or trademarked) the phrase “Who Dat”. At least, that’s what they claim.

So the shop Fleurty Girl is abiding by the legal threat handed to them by the NFL. Too bad that the NFL has to pick on this shop (and I have to assume a few other retailers have received similar letters).

I would agree with the NFL’s action in protecting their trademark…if it was something they came up with. However, I remember seeing the phrase “Who Dat?” used for virtually my whole life. As far as I can remember, it began as a home-grown rallying cry – locally thought up by who-knows-who and hand-printed on posterboard and such, to be help up during games, or scrawled on the back on car windshields with shoe polish. So now the NFL claims it’s theirs?

[In fact, the phrase “Who Dat” has been around way before the NFL or even football…it was part of the vaudeville/minstrel tradition for many many years, and only LATER become incorporated into New Orleans’ football culture. Again: it’s something that organically grew out of New Orleans’ unique way of doing things. It should NOT be allowed to be another opportunity for the NFL to make some extra dollars.]

Ridiculous. Some things need to be left alone. Especially something dear and special to local New Orleanians. Leave us what is ours, NFL.

PS – Buy whatever else FleurtyGirl is selling. Support them!

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