Basketball superstar Jimmy Butler, famed for his role with the Miami Heat, is seeking to extricate himself from a class-action lawsuit that accuses him and other celebrities of promoting unregistered securities via Binance, the global cryptocurrency exchange giant. According to Butler’s legal team, the promotional messages he featured in never explicitly referenced such securities, thereby nullifying claims of his attachment to their illegal advancement.
Butler’s attorneys assert that between February 2nd and 13th 2022, all three promotional tweets for Binance in which Butler appeared made no mention of unregistered securities, and hence could not have been instrumental in their promotion. Rather than endorsing any investments, Butler’s tweets were reportedly cautionary, warning followers about celebrity endorsements of cryptocurrencies, and urging potential investors to conduct their own research before making investment decisions.
This class-action lawsuit lodged in March also ranks Binance, its CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, and YouTubers Graham Stephan and Ben Armstrong (also known as BitBoy Crypto) among its defendants. Butler, a celebrated player in the National Basketball Association, was engaged by Binance to broadcast the brand preceding the Super Bowl in 2022.
Butler’s first appearance for Binance involved endorsing a free non-fungible token (NFT) collection from Binance in early February, 2022. He later shared additional promotional videos on February 7 and 13. Contrary to the alleged wrongdoings, the videos disseminated by Binance feature Butler stating, “you’re going to hear some of the biggest names telling you to get into crypto but they don’t know you or your finances.” He added the cautionary advice, advising potential investors to trust themselves and, of course, do their own research.