Johnny Manziel and his family formed a company JMAN2 enterprises and trademarked “Johnny Football” in February. That trademark may have irritated memorabilia dealers selling their wares on eBay. CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman spoke to one dealer, who says the trademark led to hundreds of autograph sellers having every posting taken down and having their eBay accounts suspended.
“When his family filed to patent his name, ‘Johnny Football,’ all of us dealers, and I’m talking like 500 of us, had items on eBay related to Johnny Manziel,” Rudolph told CBSSports.com Wednesday. “They weren’t necessarily signed by him. I had Heisman programs from where he won the Heisman. So on that listing it would say, ‘Johnny Manziel, Johnny Football, Texas A&M Heisman Program.’ eBay swiped across the country and took all of those items down. All of ’em. And, in addition to that, they banned everyone who had done it for two weeks. No prior warning or nothing.
It’s not clear that specifically lead to the ESPN leaks, but having their livelihood shut down for a significant period might explain the animosity.
[Photo via USA Today Sports]