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Marvin Harrison Jr. vs Fanatics: Rookie WR Faces Breach of Contract Lawsuit in NY Supreme Court


"Where's the Competitive Nature?": Former WR Blasts Marvin Harrison Jr. for Not Showing Competitive Spirit & Opting Out of Pro Day

His first NFL season hasn’t even begun, but Marvin Harrison Jr is already battling legal troubles. Sports apparel retail giant Fanatics filed a lawsuit against the rookie on Saturday night in New York Supreme Court. The suit claims the WR breached a contract he signed with the retailer in May 2023.

The point of contention seems to be the fact that Harrison is offering signed memorabilia on The Official Harrison Collection’s website, while according to ESPN, he had signed the contract with Fanatics for autographs, signed trading cards, game-worn apparel, and other marketing opportunities. The items available on Harrison’s website include photos, a jersey, and a helmet.

Harrison’s lawyers have apparently countered the allegations by Fanatics and said, that no contract has been signed by the WR. According to the company, it is seeking damages estimated to be worth “millions of dollars,” and it is the first time they have filed a suit against a partner athlete.

In the lawsuit, Fanatics asserts that the company initially made a non-exclusive agreement with Harrison in April 2023, followed by “a fully binding and enforceable contract” on May 18, 2023. However, despite this, the athlete has publicly claimed that no such deal exists. What is the endgame for Harrison here?

The Case of the Unsigned NFLPA Contract

According to speculations, Harrison is making business moves to retain control of his highly lucrative name, image, and likeness. He has not yet signed a preliminary licensing agreement with the NFL Players Association, a standard procedure for draftees.

This agreement would permit the monetization of Harrison’s name and likeness, but he seems to be leveraging it to get a better deal with Fanatics, as reported by ESPN.

Mike Florio of NBC thinks Harrison shouldn’t sign an NFLPA contract at all and “maybe he’ll design and sell his own jersey. Maybe he’ll do his own deal with EA to appear in the Madden game.” Moreover, Florio believes that while players should join the union, they are not required to “join the group licensing portion of it.”

With college athletes getting a taste of what NIL deals can do for them, it’s not surprising that someone is now trying to not let anyone else profit from his name and likeness but himself. It’s still not clear where Harrison is headed with these moves and how he plans to resolve the Fanatics lawsuit, but if speculations are to be believed he might know more than he is given credit for.

About the author




Nidhi is an NFL Editor for The SportsRush. Her interest in NFL began with 'The Blindside' and has been working as an NFL journalist for the past year. As an athlete herself, she uses her personal experience to cover sports immaculately. She is a graduate of English Literature and when not doing deep dives into Mahomes' latest family drama, she inhales books on her kindle like nobody's business. She is proud that she recognised Travis Kelce's charm (like many other NFL fangirls) way before Taylor Swift did, and is waiting with bated breath for the new album to drop.

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