The team at Ralph Lauren has some explaining to do. George Gervin is suing the brand over unauthorized use of his likeness.
As spotted on Nice Kicks the basketball legend has filed a lawsuit against the apparel and home goods company. According to Bloomberg Law he is seeking compensation over what deems to be a clear and cut case of exploitation of his likeness. The Polo Ralph Lauren marque is selling a sneaker called the “Gervin Mid”. Not only does it use his name but the shoe bears a striking resemblance to the Nike’s Blazer Mid Vintage 77 sneaker which he was the first to debut in an NBA game.
According to the paperwork he was alerted about the Ralph Lauren release by a friend who saw the high-top and sent him a text congratulations. Gervin and his legal team then sent a cease and desist letter and followed up with a formal lawsuit. “I have worked hard throughout my career to build my name and reputation, and I will not allow any company to exploit it without my permission” Gervin said in a formal statement about the matter. “I am taking legal action to protect my rights and ensure that consumers are not misled”. Counsel for Ralph Lauren says that this is all a coincidence and they named their sneaker the “Gervin Mid” because it “sounded good”.
Nicknamed “the Iceman”, is an American former professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, and Chicago Bulls. Gervin averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, and finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. In 1996, Gervin was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, and in 2021, Gervin was named as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history.
You can see a comparison of both models below.