A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: error

Stop the Presses — and Continue Tebowing

By Meghan Lalonde

After scoring touchdowns, then Denver Bronco Tim Tebow would drop to one knee, clenched fist to his forehead, in a moment of spiritual communion giving thanks to God. This became quite popular. (He hasn’t scored yet as a Jet, so we haven’t seen him do it this season). Celebrities did it. Other athletes did it. Two New York high school students were suspended because they wouldn’t stop doing it in crowded hallways.

And so Mr. Tebow applied for a trademark on “Tebowing” – not as a moneymaking scheme but so that it wouldn’t be misused. The trademark was just approved.

The Associated Press reported the story, opening with, “Dropping to a knee like Tim Tebow might cost you now.” Though it may have been intended as a joke (and we can’t be sure it was), it took on the mantle of truth, fast.  ESPN, the New York Post, Yahoo! Sports, and CBS Sports (in addition to just about every other national network) followed in the AP’s misguided footsteps.

Because the fact is, Tim Tebow didn’t trademark the gesture – he trademarked “Tebowing” – a word, and the variation – “TEBOWING.”

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