Former Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban is a familiar figure in advertising, endorsing insurance, but he doesn't want to be brought into the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Mercedes Benz union battle. In a statement today he has asked the UAW to remove him from an ad he says uses his words out of context and makes it seem he is endorsing the union, just one day before employees at the Tuscaloosa County plant starts a union vote.

“I recently learned the United Autoworkers (UAW) union has taken the liberty of featuring my comments in advertisements released as part of its campaign to organize workers at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. (MBUSI). Not only were these comments taken entirely out of context, they were also being used without my knowledge or permission. I do not personally endorse the UAW or its campaign and have asked the UAW to remove any advertisements featuring me from circulation,” Saban wrote.

Saban says the comments used by UAW were taken from an interview in which he was talking about college football players, not Mercedes workers, The comments were interposed with an announcer's voice over that make it seem as if Saban was endorsing the UAW effort to organize Mercedes' some 6,000 employees.

Saban owns seven Mercedes Benz dealerships and has addressed employees at the Tuscaloosa plants on several occasions.

Saban Not the First to Request UAW Stop Using Their Identity

This is the second time this week that the UAW has been asked to terminate using an entity's identification without permission in an apparent attempt to imply an endorsement of the organizing effort at the Vance main Mercedes plant and the Woodstock battery plant.

In a rare joint statement from the University of Alabama and Auburn University, the two schools issued a cease-and-desist order to the union for impermissibly using the two institutions logos in the UAW Mercedes vote campaign.

“The United Auto Workers are currently infringing on the intellectual property rights of The University of Alabama and Auburn University by using our trademarks without our endorsement or permission,” a joint statement from the University of Alabama and Auburn University reads.

“UAW has been explicitly instructed to stop improperly using our trademarks in their campaign (e.g., on their website, stickers, t-shirts, etc.). Both institutions will continue to take all necessary action to protect our intellectual property rights.”

There has been no public response from the United Auto Workers about Saban's or the two university's requests.

The week-long Mercedes vote begins tomorrow.

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