The Hot Boyz have been an unlikely storyline in the run up to Super Bowl 54. San Francisco 49ers LB Kwon Alexander filed a copyright claim against the term ‘Hot Boyzz’, much to the chagrin of the Dallas Cowboys’ lineman Demarcus Lawrence. What ensued was a social media exchange including team members from both sides and threats of legal action. It begs the question, who are the Hot Boyz?
Who are the Hot Boyz?
The “Hot Boyz” mantra originated from former Cowboys defensive end Taco Charlton in 2018 and has taken over the whole defensive line’s attitude. The group have produced merchandise, consistently tag their social posts as such and have their own fan following.
They are even officially acknowledged by official Dallas Cowboys channels, being formally featured on their website’s newswire, CowBuzz.
Why did Kwon Alexander make a copyright claim on the Hot Boyzz?
We’ve all heard of the Rams’ ‘Greatest Show On Turf’, and the Vikings’ ‘Purple People Eaters’. The Niners defense decided to declare their own name during the 2019 season after a season leading the league in defensive passing yards per game, and only allowing more rushing yards per season than the New England Patriots defense.
Linebacker Kwon Alexander is the creative force behind the Hot Boyzz in San Francisco. It originates from Lil Wayne’s 1990s group Hot Boys.
Alexander even went as far as to introduce himself as a graduate of “Hot Boyzz University” during the 49ers playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings. He actually went to Louisiana State University.
Is being a Hot Boy something different?
While they’re both names given to defensive lines, the Boyz(z) use the term in different ways. Alexander’s Boyzz are to label the high performance defense he’s part of. It makes sense to give a high performing line a name: it becomes cemented in the narrative of football history.
However, The Boyz in Dallas have chosen to adopt the term as a name for a collective with a shared idea of sportsmanship. Demarcus Lawrence tweeted that you can’t copyright an attitude – which is what the Hoy Boyz seek to represent. Members of the group pride themselves of grinding on the field and being bastions of the community off the field.
The Hoy Boyz demonstrate the importance of being a role model, especially to young black men. A quick scroll through the official Twitter of the Hot Boyz shows them doing just that. They provided local youth with a Christmas shopping spree, supported the Salvation Army over the Thanksgiving holidays and took part in inner city outreach in their local communities. They go above and beyond what the NFL expects players to participate in, like My Cause, My Cleats and Huddle for 100.
A Hot Boy Movement
The story of the Hoy Boyz(z) is also interesting story on the need for collective identity in the league. It is hard enough to shine in a 53 man roster, let alone shine on the defensive side of the ball. As the Hot Boyzz are attempting, it cements a line in football narrative. It garners greater press coverage which creates greater potential for greater name recognition. Name recognition attracts brand deals, pushes shirt sales and provides greater leverage for contract deals.
Hoy Boyz leader Demarcus Lawrence is one of the best defensive ends in the league, a two time Pro Bowler recording some of the biggest hits in the NFL. He is also the highest paid defensive end in the league in 2020, racking up $21,000,000 for 2020. Lawrence is the 22nd highest paid athlete in the world. He currently sits below MMA fighter Conor McGregor and above household names Drew Brees, Kyrie Irving and Rafael Nadal. The public personality he carved out for himself being part of the Hot Boyz will have played a part in his 5 year, $46m deal.
Every NFL team needs Hot Boyz as an idea of brotherhood, moral values and work ethic, and I’m sure the original squad would agree. It might be time for the Hot Boyz to start to franchise.