Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler seeks dismissal from Binance promo class suit

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Professional basketball player and Miami Heat’s Jimmy Butler has asked to be dismissed from a class action lawsuit targeting celebrities involved in the alleged promotion of unregistered securities by Binance, saying tweets he appeared in did not promote the named securities.

In a July 24 filing, Butler’s lawyers argued three tweets he appeared in promoting Binance between Feb. 2 and 13, 2022, did not mention alleged unregistered securities and in turn could not have helped to promote them.

They asserted Butler’s tweets did not recommend any investment and instead warned of celebrity crypto endorsements, urging potential Binance customers to do their own research on crypto investments.

Butler was named in the March class action lawsuit alongside Binance, its chief Changpeng “CZ” Zhao and YouTubers Graham Stephan and Ben Armstrong, also known as BitBoy Crypto.

Binance engaged Butler — a player on the professional basketball team Miami Heat — in 2022 to promote the exchange in the lead-up to that year’s Super Bowl.

He first appeared in a video promoting a free nonfungible token (NFT) collection from Binance on Feb. 2, 2022. Butler subsequently tweeted another two videos on Feb. 7 and Feb. 13, 2022.

In the video posted by Binance, Butler says “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.”

“Binance and I are here to tell you, trust yourself and, of course, do your own research,” he added.

Related: Binance cuts back on employee benefits, citing ‘decline in profit’: Report

In Butler’s first tweet for the exchange, he said those who used the hashtag “#CryptoCelebAlert” during the Super Bowl could win one of 2,222 NFTs. In another of Butler’s videos, he urged followers to trust themselves and do their own research into crypto.

A June 27 amended complaint said Butler’s statements were deceptive as they appeared alongside the promotion of the free Binance NFTs and its exchange platform.

Zhao, Binance and Armstrong have similarly filed motions to dismiss the suit. On June 15, the class action dismissed finance YouTuber Graham Stephan from the suit.

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