Marcus Singletary (pictured) attempted to cash in on the tragic killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by applying for a trademark to use the phrase “Justice for Trayvon Martin” on hoodies, reports “The Smoking Gun.”
The Los Angeles musician submitted his trademark application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on March 23. When Singletary filled out the lengthy application for the trademark, he specified that the phrase would be used on hooded sweatshirts. The item of clothing that the 36-year-old is referring to was once an icon of popular culture, but has now become a potent symbol of racial injustice brought into the spotlight by the Martin case.
Trayvon Martin was unarmed when he was gunned down by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012. Martin was walking in a gated community, where his father lived when Zimmerman spotted him and thought he looked “suspicious.” Zimmerman, a volunteer neighborhood watchman, pursued the boy, an altercation ensued and Martin ended up dead. The shooting has ignited a firestorm across the country.
Singletary’s opportunistic motives, however, were thwarted by Trayvon’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, who filed her application with the trademark office just two days earlier. Still, the Trayvon phrases have become rallying cries for racial injustices and Fulton has plans on trademarking two of them: “Justice for Trayvon” and “I Am Trayvon.” Fulton has defended herself against those claiming she and Trayvon’s father, Tracy Martin, are seeking profit from their son’s death.
Both Fulton and Martin worry that people are waiting to exploit their son’s tragedy, so their lawyers have filed the trademarks to protect the integrity of their son’s death. Fulton’s trademark rights will include production of digital media, CDs and DVDs, featuring Trayvon Martin. One of the family’s lawyers, Kimra Major-Morris, said as much to CNN. “The purpose of the trademark filings is to protect against exploitation and to keep the heat on an arrest and that is really our goal and the family is not interested in a profit, said Major-Morris.”