Why would Michael Jordan sue grocery stores?

Thu, Dec 24
10:08
AM ET

Just when you think the recession is over, when you think the financial crisis is about to take a turn for the better, this happens.

Michael Jordan
AP Photo/Chuck BurtonMichael Jordan has sued 2 grocery stores but why?

NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan has filed lawsuits against two grocery stores in Chicago, claiming they unlawfully used his identity in their advertisements.

Really? Grocery stores? Has it really come to this?

Now I'm pretty sure anyone who is reading this would agree that the one person who would not have been affected by the state of the economy would be Michael Jordan. True, he's not making the cheddar that he used to, and the divorce hit him kind of hard, but did anyone think he'd go this low to collect a check?

(The fill-in: At the time of Jordan's Hall of Fame induction, the two food stores -- Jewel and Dominick's -- ran print ads using images of MJ that appeared in a special commemorative Sports Illustrated issue. Based on that, Jordan and his attorneys figured the stores were suggesting Jordan was endorsing the grocery stores. The price of the lawsuit: $5 million per store for false endorsement, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices and unfair competition.)

Now maybe Jordan and his people are just trying to make a statement. Maybe they are trying to set a precedent and put fear into other companies who think they can use Mike to boost sales.

But for one of the richest athletes in the world, going after two grocery stores seems petty.