Football Great Brown Is Suing EA, Sony

By Ben Silverman
Updated: August 3, 2008

NEW YORK — After years of barging over husky defenders on the gridiron, ex-Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown is attempting to tackle two serious video game heavyweights in court.

According to Bloomberg Business News, Brown has filed suit against Sony Computer Entertainment America and Electronic Arts over using his likeness in the popular Madden football series.

He seeks a court order preventing either company from continuing to use his likeness in the franchise as well as damages stemming from trademark violation.

At issue is the starting running back on Madden’s “All Browns Team.” The character is African-American and bears the same jersey number Brown made famous — No. 32.

In the suit, Brown claims that he “never signed away any rights that would allow his likeness to be used.”

He also mentions that unlike today’s players, he was not given the option to negotiate terms during his NFL heyday.

“The NFL had league wide policy that players shall have no lawyers or agents when negotiating compensation,” he said in the complaint. “Video games were not invented yet and no union to obtain rights from existed.”

EA and Sony have yet to comment on the matter.