Everything to know about the bizarre Marvin Harrison Jr., Fanatics standoff

What do you know, bad press for Fanatics.
2024 NFL Draft - Portraits
2024 NFL Draft - Portraits / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

It's been an interesting first month of the Marvin Harrison Jr era in Arizona. After taking the star Ohio State wide receiver 4th in April's NFL Draft, Harrison Jr.'s pretty much been the topic of negative-ish press ever since. That culminated in a report over the weekend which detailed a lawsuit being filed against Harrison Jr., by the apparel company Fanatics – a big deal considering how they're one of the NFL's biggest partners. So what exactly is happening? Here's a quick rundown.

Everything to know about the bizarre MHJ – Fanatics standoff

The tension between MHJ and Fanatics started while he was still at Ohio State in 2023. While playing for the Buckeyes, Harrison was one of a handful of star college athletes who signed a multi-year licensing agreement deal with Fanatics. The deal was, reportedly, non-binding and ended before the draft in late April.

In the suit, Fanatics claims that they tried to approach Harrison Jr., about signing a much-larger deal, but that he was hesitant to do so and "heavily negotiated" the deal with the help of his father, Marvin Harrison Sr., who was acting as his representation. A deal was eventually signed in May, and the basis of Fanatics' suit is that Harrison Jr., essentially, hasn't lived up to his side of the agreement when it comes to autographs, game-worn apparel, and trading cards.

The suit also points out that Harrison is still profiting off those types of endeavors using "The Official Harrison Collection," a website where you can purchase signed memorabilia.

The suit also suggests that Harrison used anonymous offers from other competitors in the market to try and leverage a better deal, while refusing to disclose any information about said offers. According to Fanatics, Marvin Harrison Sr. asked for a copy of the agreement before telling the company that no such deal ever existed.

So, who knows. Harrison's camp clearly wants to play things especially close to the chest when it comes to his licensing deals – he hasn't even signed the NFL Players Association's group licensing agreement yet – but also, it's not like Fanatics has anywhere close to a sterling reputation either. The NFL is, as they say, a business.

The good news is that you can distract yourself by watching footage of him running routes! Real football stuff!