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Namath v. Sports Illustrated
New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division
371 N.Y.S.2d 10 (1975)
Joe Namath (plaintiff) was the superstar quarterback of the New York Jets, which surprisingly defeated the Baltimore Colts at the Super Bowl in 1969. The sports magazine Sports Illustrated (defendant) used action photos of Namath for an article featuring Namath’s Super Bowl performance. Subsequently, Sports Illustrated used one of Namath’s action photos in advertisements to promote the sale of Sports Illustrated subscriptions. An advertisement for Sports Illustrated with Namath’s photo appeared, for example, in Cosmopolitan and Life magazines with cheeky headlines promoting Sports Illustrated as a means to learn more about Namath. The advertisements did not suggest that Namath himself endorsed Sports Illustrated. Namath sued Sports Illustrated under New York law, which provided a cause of action for invasion of privacy. The trial court dismissed the action. Namath appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Capozzoli, J.)
Dissent (Kupferman, J.)
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