Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) launched a petition Friday urging
the National Football League (NFL) to drop its copyright claim to the phrase,
"Who dat?" which has become a rallying cry for fans of the New Orleans
Melancon, a candidate for Senate, wrote in a letter to supporters that, "This week has been a great one for Saints fans, as we've been celebrating our beloved team making it to the Super Bowl for the first time in team history.
"But some heavy-handed legal posturing by the NFL is
threatening to put a damper on our celebration."
Melancon launched his petition specifically in response to cease-and-desist letters sent by the NFL to merchants using the phrase "Who dat?" on t-shirts, caps, and other products.
The petition garnered more than 1,000 signatures in the first hour after it was launched.
"No one owns "WHO DAT" except for Who Dat Nation," Melancon wrote. "For all of us long-time Saints fans, it's doubly frustrating to see the NFL swoop in just as soon as our team breaks out into the national spotlight."
The Saints face off against the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV on Sunday, Feb. 7.