Don’t expect to see Chad Johnson Ocho Cinco wearing his new name on a jersey anytime soon. CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports on his blog that the former Mr. Johnson would be forced to buy out the stock of the 100,000 remaining “C. Johnson” jerseys before making the switch to “Ocho Cinco“. If Reebok asked Ocho Cinco to pay for the cost of making the unsold jerseys, the total could reach upwards of
$4 million (or $50 million pesos for you spanish speakers).
Because Johnson changed his name so close to the start of the season, Reebok was left in a bind since they’d have to produce new jerseys and eat the old ones. That’s why the NFL has told Johnson he’d have to reimburse the company for the price of the jerseys. That’s not unprecedented, rookie linebacker Keith Rivers did it last week when he changed his uniform number. Of course, Rivers didn’t have thousands of jerseys with his name on it on sales racks nationwide.
This whole charade, of course, is pretty ridiculous. It’s tough to defend Johnson, as he’s so narcissistic that he makes T.O. look like Mother Teresa. And the NFL is so blatant in their attempts to block Johnson from donning his new name on the back of his Bengals jersey that it almost seems beneath them. Sure, it’s inane and self-serving and could set a bad precedent, but shouldn’t the league be focusing on more important issues, like stopping players from celebrating touchdowns?