Muhammad Ali Got Dragged Into a $30 Million Super Bowl Promo Lawsuit

Over the years, Muhammad Ali has been held in high regard as one of the greatest sports icons. Ali has become a legendary figure well beyond his time in the ring that made him an inspiration to many. Many of his fights were among the most memorable that the sport of boxing has had. It has also generated plenty of monetary profit that has seen much of memorabilia gather a hefty price tag. With that in mind, it also netted a massive $30 million settlement with Fox for the company that owns Ali‘s likeliness.

Muhammad Ali’s boxing career

Ali‘s illustrious boxing career spanned over two decades in the squared-circle. He put together many historical fights that saw him earn the heavyweight title three times.

Ali became a legendary figure in the ring with his entertaining fighting style that helped him become one of the most popular sports figures of all time. Despite him losing three years of his prime due to his unwillingness to enlist in the military, it didn’t stop him from continuing to stay at the top of his game.

He had iconic fight such as topping Sonny Liston twice, Joe Frazier twice in three bouts, George Foreman, Ken Norton twice, and Floyd Patterson twice. Ali not only was dominate in the ring, but he also had the talk to back it up that only further heightened his legendary status.

However, that is part of what put what Ali in the middle of a huge lawsuit a few years ago.

Muhammad Ali was involved in $30 lawsuit settlement

The legendary boxing career that Ali put together had put him in the position to cash in from all the financial gains from his likeness.

That was the case back in 2017 before Super Bowl 51 that featured the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons, as a promotional video by Fox for the game that included footage from his boxing career. That led to a $30 million lawsuit being levied by Muhammad Ali Enterprises that the video was used “far more than a tribute” with the sole purpose as an advertisement for the game. At the same time, the network didn’t ask to use the boxer’s likeness.

Roughly over a year later, in July 2018, the two sides had settled out of court for an unspecified amount, according to Jon Parton of Courthouse News Service.

 The company that owns the likeness of Muhammad Ali  and the Fox Broadcasting Company settled a $30 million lawsuit Monday that alleged the TV network used film footage of the boxing great to promote the 2017 Super Bowl without permission.

The counterargument to the situation by Fox’s representation had been that it was used as “editorial” and was protected by the First Amendment instead of it being commercial speech. The entire situation was after Ali’s passing as the settlement took place a little more than two years after his death at age 74 in June 2016.

Muhammad Ali’s legacy

Although this turned out to be a hasty situation due to the dispute of use of Ali’s likeness, it only goes to show the staying power that his legacy has had.

Ali last fought in 1981 and is still held in high regard as being one of the greatest athletes in the world. There wasn’t another boxer or professional sports figure like him as he had the entire package from an entertainment standpoint.

He has served as a steady source of inspiration for what he stood for in and out of the ring over his career and well beyond it. Ultimately, Ali is a sports icon that has an impact that has gone well beyond his profession.