Basketball legend Michael Jordan won on a different court Friday night. A federal jury ordered the owners of a defunct supermarket chain to pay the former Chicago Bulls player $8.9 million for using his identity without his permission in a 2009 advertisement, reports the Chicago Tribune.
“It was all just about protecting my name and my likeness,” Jordan said outside the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse after the verdict was delivered, saying, “It was never about the money.” He plans to donate the money to charities in Chicago.
Lawyers for Safeway, owners of Dominick’s, the grocery chain, had argued that the company should pay only $126,900 for using the athlete’s “identity without permission in a 2009 ad for its Rancher’s Reserve steaks in a special issue of Sports Illustrated celebrating Jordan’s elevation to the Basketball Hall of Fame,” the report says.
But after about six hours of deliberation at the end of a weeklong trial, the jury awarded Jordan $8.9 million, which was close to the $10 million his lawyers had requested.
“It is my name, and I’ve worked hard for it for 30-something years, and I’m not just going to let someone take it,” he said, according to the Tribune.
“It’s not the type of court I like to win at,” he continued, alluding to his career on the basketball court, writes the Tribune. “But unfortunately we ended up in this court, and I’m very happy with the result.”
Read more at the Chicago Tribune.