Basketball players sue ‘Fortnite’ game makers over dance

Blake Opstad from San Diego, CA, as "Rabbit Raider" from Fortnite on day two of Comic-Con International on Friday, July 20, 2018 in San Diego, CA. (Photo by Christy Radecic/Invision/AP)
GREENBELT, Md. — Two former University of Maryland men’s basketball players are suing the makers of “Fortnite,” claiming the video game’s creators misappropriated a dance they popularized online.

Maryland guard Jared Nickens (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Maryland guard Jaylen Brantley (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The federal lawsuit, filed Monday in Maryland, accuses North Carolina-based Epic Games Inc. of unfairly profiting from the “Running Man Challenge” dance that Jared Nickens and Jaylen Brantley performed in social media videos and on Ellen DeGeneres’ TV show in 2016.

The suit says the “Running Man” dance that “Fortnite” players can purchase for their characters is identical to the dance that Nickens and Brantley created.

Other artists, including Brooklyn-based rapper 2 Milly and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro, also have sued Epic Games over other dances depicted in the game.

The company didn’t immediately respond Tuesday to an email seeking comment.