Kawhi Leonard is filing a lawsuit against sporting gear giant Nike.
The Toronto Raptors star might be battling the Golden State Warriors on the basketball court, but he is also engaged in a legal battle in a very different kind of court. Leonard, 27, is suing Nike for copyrighting his “Klaw” logo — as initially revealed by TMZ.
The “Klaw” logo boasts his initials and his jersey number. “Leonard traced his notably large hand, and, inside the hand, drew stylized versions of his initials, ‘KL,’ and the number that he had worn for much of his career, ‘2,’” the lawsuit states. Leonard reportedly created the logo back in 2011.
Later that year, Leonard signed a contract with Nike. He reportedly permitted Nike to use the logo, but now the shoe brand has filed a copyright for the logo “without Leonard’s knowledge or consent.”
Leonard reportedly says he permitted Nike to use the logo to “mutually benefit” both parties. He also claims Nike “committed fraud on the Copyright Office” by filing to copyright his logo. The athlete signed with Nike from 2011 to 2018 before inking a deal with New Balance last fall.
Nike addressed the lawsuit in a statement to Action Network’s Darren Rovell. “We do not comment on pending litigation,” Nike said. Rovell noted the “Klaw” logo has not been incorporated in Leonard’s New Balance product.
The Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors play Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday. The series is currently tied 1-1.