NFL clarifies stance on "Who Dat" merchandise

When the NFL started sending cease and desist orders to people selling t-shirts reading the unofficial “Who Dat” slogan of the New Orleans Saints, some people scratched their head and wondered how the league could claim rights to the phrase.

Those people will be pleased to hear that the NFL has clarified its stand on such merchandise in the wake of a letter from Louisiana Senator David Vitter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell complaining about the league’s actions. Jeffrey A. Miller, the NFL’s V.P. of government relations and public policy, sent a letter to Vitter adressing the concerns.

“Contrary to public reports,” the letter states, “the NFL has not sought
to exclude all uses of the word ‘WHO DAT’ or the fleur-de-lis logo.
Rather, the NFL has sent out narrowly targeted letters, challenging the
sale of products bearing the fleur-de-lis and ‘WHO DAT’ marks only
when those products contain or are advertised using other trademarks or
identifiers of the Saints.”

Reading between the lines, it would seem that a shirt or other merchandise that avoids the Saints logo, team colors or Tom Benson’s parasol should be just fine. You can also be sure that there will be plenty of “official” merch with the phrase awaiting fans when they hit the souvenir stands during Super Bowl week. 

39 responses to “NFL clarifies stance on "Who Dat" merchandise

  1. It’s going to be funny seeing all the shirts that say “Who dat thinks dem beat them Colts?” after next sunday’s Super Bowl.

  2. ” After careful consideration, the NFL has determined that as long as they get their cut, the sales may continue….”

  3. 2nd most annoying phrase, after the jets who have to remind themselves how to spell the team name. But then again what else can you expect from jets fans.

  4. Before all you clowns start calling the people of New Orleans illiterate for using the term”Who Dat”, I suggest you do a little research on it, and also, the Bengals use “Who Dey” and that is even worse. Oh, and all you Vikings fans, I would definitely be proud of Princes’ Vikings fight song. I can see why the gay dating commercial that wants to run during the Superbowl has a man in a Vikings jersey.

  5. I love the NFL and think it is a really well run organization but stories like this make me sick. YOU, Goodell, should cease and desist from using “Who Dat” on merchandise. The NFL has nothing to do with the origination of those words.

  6. A fleur de lis is the damn symbol for the city! If they have to exclude something, they get pissed about merch that has all 3: WHO DAT, fleur, and the saints colors.

  7. NFL licensed apparel is fantastic. There are so many cool things to get and new stuff all the time…especially the throwback stuff. But for crying out loud, you’re billionaires…let someone else make a few bucks, especially when a team is in the super bowl.

  8. The NFL has become so greedy! It is pathetic.
    I don’t know who is running things this year, but
    they continually pissed people off i.e Pro-bowl
    before SB. If I go to Wally World & buy a black t-shirt and gold iron-on letters to say Who Dat is that OK? As a fan, I’m sick of the “greedy Goldbergs” running the NFL. Millions are jobless & stadiums aren’t full, but keep sticking it to the fan so you get your billions….Brilliant!!!

  9. Goddells GESTOPO will be busy in this time leading up to the Super Bowl, THREATENING places that advertise coming to their establishments, to see the “the big game”, to cracking down on vendors who print “WHO DAT” t-shirts, of course we can’t allow fans to gather at the Superdome to watch the game there,… SERIOUSLY, kudos to Sen. Vitter for his comments to Roger Goddell, especially his comment to “SUE ME”,… the NFL & this Commissioner ARE BEGGING to be investagated for their heavy handed buisness practices, and if stuff like this gets the involment of a US Senator, than I’m all for it

  10. I’d like to see France sue the NFL for using a proprietary symbol it created ages (centuries?) ago.
    Either that, or have it declared public domain for the very same reason.
    The NFL sucks.

  11. This is an example of the “Ready Fire Aim” strategy at its finest!
    The NFL should have more sense.
    Particularly after K.O’ing the CBA and getting an uncapped year where salaries will go down.

  12. PRLA says:
    January 30, 2010 12:24 PM
    Before all you clowns start calling the people of New Orleans illiterate for using the term”Who Dat”, ……….
    Don’t worry, that is not the reason we call the people of New Orleans illiterate.

  13. And while they’re at it, let people use the words, “Super Bowl” in ads, as long as they don’t connote NFL endorsement. It’s time for the NFL to be reasonable. Otherwise, bye-bye antitrust exemption…

  14. In other news, Cincinnati (Kentucky) has been informed that they can keep the stupid “Who Dey” slogan becuase no one wants it.

  15. WTE:
    “Us educated people in the north find it very annoying.”
    We educated people in the north should disown you for your poor grammar.

  16. WTE says:
    January 30, 2010 12:56 PM
    Who cares. Who Dat is a very stupid slogan.
    Us educated people in the north find it very annoying.
    Don’t you mean “WE educated people?”

  17. # Caldon says: January 30, 2010 12:19 PM
    2nd most annoying phrase, after the jets who have to remind themselves how to spell the team name. But then again what else can you expect from jets fans.
    That is the difference between Jets and Eagles fans. When Jets fans do it is annoying. When Eagles fans do it, it is amazing, considering the fact that most of their fans flunked out in the first grade.

  18. one of the t-shirt co. should have someone to place a order for a millions shirts and then let the nfl take them to court and if the nfl loses they should make the nfl pay for the millions of dollars lost because of the they could not fill the order. if the t-shirt co loses just have them cancel the order
    nfl might not be to willing to lose millions on who dat

  19. Who Dat says we cant vote Ray Nagin in again.
    Who Dat says we cant expose ourselves in the French Quarter.
    Who Dat says we cant worship demons with VooDoo.
    Who Dat says the average New Orleans resident has an iq of 20.
    Who Dat says our city is a complete craphole and we need tourist money to feed our criminals.
    Colts 44 New Orleans Oxymoron Saints 17

  20. WashingtonRedstorms: Why are you such a hater on the city of New Orleans? Do you live in a perfect city like,say, Washington,D.C. perhaps? Nice try at a stab of intelligence with the use of the word “oxymoron”. You should be proud. By the way, don’t ever visit New Orleans. You just don’t get it and you sound a little bit scared.

  21. The NFL should shut up on this matter. By clarifying now, apparently they didn’t do a really good job of it earlier. Translation: “we were trying to grab a larger piece of the pie by bullying some independant creativity on a slogan we don’t own, but happens to be associated with a team in our league.”
    “And you still can’t show the big game during a party at the Super Dome.”
    And I’ll take New Orleans, a city with it’s clear faults in a state governed by French common law as opposed to the mid-western mirage known as India-no-place.
    New Orleans is the first and only home for the Saints. As for Indy, well you got handed your team at the expense of another fanbase by a drunk, malcontent who didn’t have enough belief in your common creativity to allow you an opportunity to create your name and colors.
    If you’d picked a name like “Racers” and used something like red and yellow as opposed to blue and white, we wouldn’t have a problem.
    May the dark arts of the Saints fans work it’s magic and curse your team and city.
    Voodoo dolls at the ready. Commence pinning!
    Your sister city to the North, Baltimore, is rooting for you New Orleans! Go get your first title!

  22. All you guys chiming in about how, “The NFL sucks”, why don’t you cast you vote by not patronizing the product? Or STFU.
    What no one obviously realizes that if you let a couple of people get away with this, you have no legal ground to stand on once a precendent is set. This could ultimately end up killing off the NFL. I know it seems greedy, but they are just trying to protect their own interests.

  23. Shame on the NFL for the greed. The Saints’ symbol is the city symbol – there are 3 GOLDEN fluers de lis on the city flag.
    Shame on Saints’ fans for acting as though their city is something spectacular. Pre and Post Katrina New Orleans has been the murder capital of the world for 20 years now, only taking a year off for post-Katrina recovery. Don’t act like you’ve got your shit together. You don’t! New Orleans remains a highly impoverished, welfare city that embraces all kinds of evil. There’s no argument to that – the only argument the locals make is “Look at your city…”, “you scared…”, or “you’ve never been…”
    A winning football team does not make that a great place to live. I know – I lived there for years and joined the Air Force to get away when I was 17.
    That being said…Mothers has the best food in all the world, and I’d love to go back for an hour or two, just to eat there. Assuming I don’t get shot walking down to the corner of Poydras and Tchoupitoulas.

  24. dare2bme: The Saints’ fans aren’t acting as if their city is something spectacular; they are just trying to defend themselves and the city against unwarranted and vicious attacks upon the city by malcontents who (a) are pissed that their team lost to the Saints at some point (b) think they are superior by insulting an entire city and generalizing its population,(c) just need to spew hatred somewhere and this is the safest place, or (d) all of the above. Sure New Orleans has its problems; what city doesn’t?
    As for the locals’ arguments of “Look at your city. . .”, “you’re scared. . .”, or “you’ve never been. . .” well, they might not win the most points in a debate, but there is some legitimacy there. Attacking the IQ of a city’s citizenry is petty and childish. For all of the “bad things” associated with New Orleans, take some time to consider that there is much beauty and history here. I know you wanted to get far away from New Orleans when you were 17, but how many 17 year olds the world over have the same feeling about their home towns? Take a second to consider the good instead of always seeing the bad stuff about a place. I know I do that when I visit NYC, San Fran, and Miami. They have the bad and the good too.

  25. @dare2bme
    Sure…New Orleans embraces all kinds of evil…like giving birth to retards like you. Why don’t you do a google search before you proclaim us the murder capital of the world for the last two decades. New Orleans is a wonderful city with problems just like everywhere else. The only difference is that, although we may be a poor city, we are rich in history and culture. We celebrate our city, good and bad, which is probably why you didn’t fit in. What’s the matter…the boys at Jesuit beat you up every day, so now you’re bitter?

  26. doxun – excellent point. I still have a general dislike for the things that happened in and around New Orleans, but all cities have some part of those issues. I didn’t attack the IQ of the city’s citizenry. There is beauty and history there. Just not the place for me. Fair argument.
    louisianafootballfan – you epitomize the reasons I see the bad side of New Orleans. I never claimed to be born there, and I’m proud of having left.
    Do a little research of your own:
    Feel free to embrace the good and the bad. Just don’t expect others to go along for the ride. I attended and played ball for John Curtis – then transferred to LSMSA to complete HS and start my extrication from NOLA. Keep the personal insults to yourself – ad hominem attacks make you seem foolish.

  27. I agree with dare2bme: Let’s bring a bit of civility to the run-up to the Super Bowl. Personal attacks are silly. Cheer for your team, but don’t denigrate those who cheer for the other team.
    I’m a long-time, die-hard Colts fan, but I also have great respecct for the people of New Orleans and their great community spirit in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Also, I’ve been a Drew Brees fan since his Purdue years.
    Remember–We live in the greatest country in the world. We’re the good guys, so let’s act like the good guys.

  28. Oh, this is way to deep!
    I just want the Saints to win this game.
    Nothing against Peyton Manning. He is a machine! He’s the best! (Yes, I’m a Patriots fan, but I have to admit it). And he’s hilarious! I really like the guy. Well, except for those Oreo commercials. Very geeky. And a little disturbing with the licking and all. But, I digress.
    The Colts and India-no-place on the other hand…eh not so much.
    I can only imagine, as can we all, how New Orleans will erupt with both Mardi Gras and a Saints victory. Talk about urban renewal!
    Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints?

  29. the fleur de lis was the emblem of the despised fascist bourban royal family of france who lost their HEADS on the guillotine! the french revolution bypassed or missed all the french colonies in north america – louisiana included. those cajuns they call themselves were in fact “acadians” expelled from canada by the english. slaves owned by acadians or french in north america then were BRANDED with the fleur de lis symbol.
    to this day – IN FRANCE the fleur de lis is spat upon and seldom if ever even seen anymore.

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