Reigning National Basketball Association MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is known, among other things, for his tremendous shot blocking. But this offseason, he was taken to a different kind of court to attempt a blockage. On Monday, the Greek basketball superstar filed a lawsuit against artist Jinder Bhogal for using his trademark nickname, “Greek Freak”, to sell clothes with images of Antetokounmpo.
The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, accuses Bhogal of using the phrase “Greek Freak” to promote a clothing line featuring his original portrait of Antetokounmpo. The artwork depicts the player wearing a toga, with antlers protruding from his head (a reference to his NBA team, the Milwaukee Bucks) and the Acropolis looming in the background.
According to the lawsuit, Antetokounmpo representatives sent Bhogal a cease and desist letter in early May, and although the artist never responded, he later removed the “Greek Freak” works from his shop in line. However, posts promoting “Greek Freak” merchandise can still be seen on Bhogal’s social media pages for her clothing line.
The lawsuit accuses Bhogal of capitalizing on Antetokounmpo’s famous brand moniker and selling merchandise “of particular aesthetics not aligned” with the player’s own brand and “of significantly lower quality than the products offered” by Antetokounmpo. The basketball star is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction to stop Bhogal from using the phrase “Greek Freak” any further.