NFL Asks Pittsburgh NORML to Stop Using Steelers-Inspired Logo

In an interesting turn of events, a National Football League team is angrily demanding that another group change its logo, claiming the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (better known as NORML) logo, which basically looks just like the Steelers logo with the kind of throwing star things swapped out for marijuana leaves, is what a lesser, pun-drunk reporter might refer to as “a real buzz kill.”

In a cease and desist letter sent from the NFL to NORML, the multi-billion dollar sporting organization claims, “As a result of your organization’s unauthorized use of NFL Marks to promote Pittsburgh NORML’s business, the public is likely to be misled into believing that Pittsburgh NORML and/or its products are authorized, approved, sponsored by, or are otherwise affiliated with, the NFL and/or the Steelers Club, when they are not. Moreover, such unauthorized use may cause dilution of the Steelers Club’s famous logo mark, and otherwise negatively impact [NFL Properties’] and/or the Steelers Club’s trademark rights.”

If the NFL believes NORML is violating their trademark, which okay, they probably are, that’s one thing, but isn’t the idea that someone might see the NORML logo and suddenly think the NFL is now down with the widespread legalization of marijuana kind of … stupid? How dopey does the NFL find their fans? Do they really think the typical Steelers fan can’t look at a thing that’s kind of like another thing without thinking they’re the same thing?

And wouldn’t marijuana and the NFL actually be a great fit? Football and alcohol already go hand in hand to great mutual profit, and you can ask any teenager (look for one with a skateboard) if you want the latest talking points on how smoking a joint results in way less health and social problems than drinking a six-pack. Also, every other commercial during the Super Bowl is for Doritos, Snickers, or some other prime munchie. And could anyone but the most gleefully stoned of marijuana enthusiasts find those GoDaddy.com advertisements funny?

Hesitant about going to war with an organization packed with billionaires and widely staffed by enormous men with head injuries, Pittsburgh NORML has agreed to back down and change the logo. The organization also took the opportunity to make a direct plea to the NFL, asking “the National Football League to reconsider its policy on the use of cannabis by its employees, especially medicinal use by players suffering from chronic pain. Cannabis is recreationally legal in three of your major markets—Washington, Colorado, as well as our Nation’s Capital, while medicinal marijuana is legal in 24 states, including your largest markets of California, New York, Illinois and the New England area. At present the only pain management options are highly addictive narcotics and opioids. Cannabis is not a performance enhancing substance, but it could easily be a safe and effective treatment alternative for your most valuable assets—your players.”

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