Intellectual Property

La. AG Steps into ‘Who Dat’ Controversy, Says Some T-Shirts OK

  • Print.

Do T-shirt makers need permission from the National Football League to sell their wares with the words ‘Who Dat,’ the popular cheer of fans of the New Orleans Saints?

Not necessarily, according to Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell. Caldwell told the Associated Press he spoke with the NFL general counsel about the league’s cease-and-desist letters dispatched to some T-shirt makers.

Caldwell says the NFL is only objecting to shirts that refer to the New Orleans Saints or the NFL. ”They’ve conceded and they’ve said they have no intention of claiming the fleur-de-lis, which would be ridiculous, or the ‘Who Dat,’ which would be equally ridiculous,” Caldwell told AP. The fleur-de-lis is on Saints helmets—but it’s also the traditional symbol of New Orleans.

Caldwell also said “Who Dat” shirts that are black and gold can be sold, if they don’t have the Saints logo are purport to be Saints Gear.

The traditional cheer—in its full length—is ”Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?” It has been shortened to “Who dat?”

A Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) story on the controversy is titled, “Who Dat Owns ‘Who Dat’? Dat’s Us, Sez da NFL.”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.