Toronto Raptors star Kawhi Leonard filed a federal lawsuit against Nike on Monday, saying the footwear and apparel giant is blocking him from using a logo that he believes he owns. The logo that is the center of all controversy is the infamous “Klaw” logo.
Leonard was a Nike endorser until 2018. He now endorses New Balance. A Nike spokesman declined to comment Monday, saying the company does not discuss pending litigation. Leonard is scheduled to speak with reporters on Tuesday when practice resumes at the NBA Finals.
Not against Kawhi to the Clippers at all, but this Klaw logo does not move the dial. Get this ♋️ some crab claws! pic.twitter.com/WjJTFAbz6M
— NBAstrology (@NBAstrology) May 30, 2019
In the lawsuit, Leonard said Nike filed a copyright application for a logo that he designed and did so “unbeknownst to Leonard and without his consent.” Nike told Leonard earlier this year to stop using the logo, the lawsuit said. Leonard is preparing to use the logo “on clothing lines, footwear and on other products and, among other things, in connection with sports camps and charity functions.”
Leonard has, on repeated occasions, spoken about the “Klaw” being something that he has been working on for years. The ring and pinky fingers of the logo are shaped into a “K,” the middle finger and thumb form an “L” and the index finger is designed to resemble an elongated “2” — all nods to his initials and jersey number.
The Raptors are currently tied at one apiece in the NBA Finals with the series now shifting to Oracle Arena for Game 3. Let’s see how he handles the inevitable questions surrounding this lawsuit as Toronto Raptors prepares for Wednesday’s Finals game against the Golden State Warriors.