BALL’N, a 30-year-old Black-owned sportswear brand, finds itself contemplating if Nike has committed blatant copyright infringement against them.
BALL’N released its NBA t-shirts collection back in August of 2021 as one of the few Black-owned brands with an NBALAB license. However, since then, its founder claims Nike has infringed on the trademark in their ‘Ball In’ branded t-shirts.
Despite the striking similarity, Jeter states Nike has not been reciprocal in his communication attempts to inquire further. The Black Wall Street Times also reached out to Nike but they did not respond.
Jeter points out ‘blatant hypocrisy’ of Nike.
Jeter claims that while they take from his BALL’N brand’s creativity, Nike is also going after a company that uses a name similar to its slogan.
Andrea Galbreath is the succulent plant business owner of Just Succ It and Nike has filed a lawsuit against her company which sales plants. She created a TikTok video that has reached well over 2 million views. Jeter calls Nike’s treatment, “very blatant hypocrisy.”
BALL’N vs. Ball In likely headed to court soon
While culture vultures and appropriation are not new, few would consider Nike a culprit. However, their continued silence can leave only speculation for Jeter, who has stated restitution as the only option between himself and Nike at this point.
The BALL’N founder also remains befuddled as to why Nike would even adopt his brand as one of the largest companies in the world. Whether knowingly or not, Jeter states Nike has infringed on his creativity and made profits from it.
Black creativity is often stolen, exploited, and worsened by those looking to make a cheap buck, but Jeter is fighting back for the brand he’s long established.
Now considering litigation options, Jeter has established a GoFundMe to acquire assistance in paying the legal fees to take on the corporate behemoth.