(Thumbnail image: The Times-Picayune)

 

“Who dat, who dat? Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints? Who dat, who dat? Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints?” (KSLA)


It’s the chant causing controversy as the Saints go marching into Miami for the Super Bowl.  Nobody seems to know who owns the rights to the phrase "Who Dat?”.  Who really owns it? The NFL? Or the people of New Orleans?

 

On CNN, Business Analyst Rick Horrow says that while the NFL may not own “Who Dat?”, they do own the Saints, so merchandise will have to be redesigned.

 

“If it’s in the public domain, than nobody can all of a sudden say, We own it, we’re going to charge for it. And if it’s not than it’s okay. It’s probably a negotiated settlement with Who Dat? not being owned by the NFL, but the Saints likeness being owned by the NFL, so they may have to change the pattern of the shirt.”

 

On CBS affiliate KSLA-TV, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal opposes the NFL’s statements, saying the league has no right to claim ownership of the phrase.

 

“Even before 1983 when it was first registered locally in Louisiana by a local group, it was actually used by St. Augustine High School and other schools as well, in the state of Louisiana. So it is ridiculous at this late date for the NFL to come in and try to say they own this trademark and this phrase.” 


On Good Morning America, writer Steve Monistere claims “Who Dat” is his creation.

 

“We put together this song, which was When the Saints Go Marching In, along with the phrase we sang into it which was Who Dat?”.

 

But on that same broadcast, Professor Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane University’s Sports Law Program, says that “Who Dat?” got started over 100 years ago with the help of traveling black minstrel shows.

 

Who Dat?’ has gone way beyond certainly its original beginnings in Vaudeville minstrel shows and is part of the fabric of New Orleans.”


The coach of the Saints, Sean Payton, believes no one can claim true ownership of the chant, rather, it’s something for everyone.

 

“I don’t think anyone can own Who Dat? personally. So there are some specifics with it as it pertains to business sales and that’s something that I’m not as familiar with. But I think that’s for everyone to enjoy.” (New Orleans Saints)

 

On CNN, news anchor Don Lemon, a Louisiana native, agrees with Payton, saying the NFL’s actions are an example of “big government” attacking the “little guy.”

 

When people talk about big government right, or big business, if this is big business or big government encroaching, this is it right here. You’ve got mom and pop shops trying to sell tee shirts, trying to make money after Katrina and then you have the NFL saying you can’t do it.”


So who really does own “Who Dat?” Should the NFL take action against Louisiana retailers who use Who Dat? on their merchandise?

The 'Who Dat' Spat

by Charlie McKeague
0
Transcript
Feb 2, 2010

The 'Who Dat' Spat

(Thumbnail image: The Times-Picayune)

 

“Who dat, who dat? Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints? Who dat, who dat? Who dat say dey gon’ beat dem Saints?” (KSLA)


It’s the chant causing controversy as the Saints go marching into Miami for the Super Bowl.  Nobody seems to know who owns the rights to the phrase "Who Dat?”.  Who really owns it? The NFL? Or the people of New Orleans?

 

On CNN, Business Analyst Rick Horrow says that while the NFL may not own “Who Dat?”, they do own the Saints, so merchandise will have to be redesigned.

 

“If it’s in the public domain, than nobody can all of a sudden say, We own it, we’re going to charge for it. And if it’s not than it’s okay. It’s probably a negotiated settlement with Who Dat? not being owned by the NFL, but the Saints likeness being owned by the NFL, so they may have to change the pattern of the shirt.”

 

On CBS affiliate KSLA-TV, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal opposes the NFL’s statements, saying the league has no right to claim ownership of the phrase.

 

“Even before 1983 when it was first registered locally in Louisiana by a local group, it was actually used by St. Augustine High School and other schools as well, in the state of Louisiana. So it is ridiculous at this late date for the NFL to come in and try to say they own this trademark and this phrase.” 


On Good Morning America, writer Steve Monistere claims “Who Dat” is his creation.

 

“We put together this song, which was When the Saints Go Marching In, along with the phrase we sang into it which was Who Dat?”.

 

But on that same broadcast, Professor Gabe Feldman, director of Tulane University’s Sports Law Program, says that “Who Dat?” got started over 100 years ago with the help of traveling black minstrel shows.

 

Who Dat?’ has gone way beyond certainly its original beginnings in Vaudeville minstrel shows and is part of the fabric of New Orleans.”


The coach of the Saints, Sean Payton, believes no one can claim true ownership of the chant, rather, it’s something for everyone.

 

“I don’t think anyone can own Who Dat? personally. So there are some specifics with it as it pertains to business sales and that’s something that I’m not as familiar with. But I think that’s for everyone to enjoy.” (New Orleans Saints)

 

On CNN, news anchor Don Lemon, a Louisiana native, agrees with Payton, saying the NFL’s actions are an example of “big government” attacking the “little guy.”

 

When people talk about big government right, or big business, if this is big business or big government encroaching, this is it right here. You’ve got mom and pop shops trying to sell tee shirts, trying to make money after Katrina and then you have the NFL saying you can’t do it.”


So who really does own “Who Dat?” Should the NFL take action against Louisiana retailers who use Who Dat? on their merchandise?

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