The Rock's XFL Is Being Sued By WNBA Star Sue Bird's Company

Ashley Hunte
A white line painted on grass/turf.
Unsplash | Sandro Schuh

Sue Bird, WNBA point guard and co-founder of the lifestyle brand TOGETHXR, has filed a lawsuit against the XFL, a football league that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson bought in 2020.

Previously, Bird had threatened to sue the XFL over what she claims to be an infringement on her intellectual property rights, after the company launched a campaign that seems eerily similar to her own brand.

The XFL is a minor football league that started in 2000.

In 2001, the league had its first and only season, which stirred considerable controversy at the time. An attempt to rebrand and reboot the league occurred in 2018, and it ultimately filed for bankruptcy in 2020.

Shortly after this, Johnson, alongside Dany Garcia, purchased the league with plans to relaunch it.

Then, earlier this year, it was announced that, in collaboration with the NFL, the XFL would work toward "expand[ing] the game of football," starting its training camps in early 2023.

Then, in May, Johnson signed a deal with Disney for exclusive broadcasting rights.

The deal will see XFL games broadcast on ESPN, FX, and ABC, starting as early as 2023, and running through to the end of 2027.

However, the branding for the league is what has caught Bird's attention.

In April, Bird tweeted a screenshot taken from the XFL account that showcases their rebranding, as well as its "together" campaign. In the tweet, Bird says, "Well doesn't this [look] familiar."

Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird's wife, also weighed in on the similarities.

In her Tweet, Rapinoe shows her intent to pursue legal action, stating, "Only thing @TheRock and @XFL2023 are gonna be cookin up is a response to the Cease and Desist and an ENTIRE new b4and ID."

Other similarities between the brands/logos came to light.

Each logo heavily emphasizes the X, as well as the use of "togetherness." In addition, screenshots showing both brands' Instagram accounts surfaced, showing captions on posts that share striking similarities to one another.

According to Rapinoe, these striking similarities are an infringement on her (and Bird's) intellectual property rights.

The X in particular has XFL's new logo appearing nearly identical to that of TOGETHXR's, which was founded in 2021 by Alex Morgan, Chloe Kim, Simone Manuel, and Bird herself.

Last week, TOGETHXR officially filed a lawsuit against the XFL.

Wednesday, June 2nd, attorneys representing the lifestyle brand officially filed their lawsuit, claiming that the design the XFL chose for their new logo is "confusingly similar to TOGETHXR’s brand and logo."

The attorneys have also repeatedly attempted to reach out to XFL spokespeople over the matter.

TOGETHXR's attorneys have reportedly attempted to contact the XFL, stating that the league "failed to acknowledge that it has tread on TOGETHXR’s rights."

Despite this, it appears that Johnson himself is not being directly sued.

The lawsuit seems to be against the XFL itself, and not Johnson individually. However, since he's part-owner of the league, he will undoubtedly be involved in the case.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!