Members of the Unitas family are feuding over the decision to cast Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco as Johnny Unitas in part of a movie about the legendary Colts quarterback.
The movie, "Unitas We Stand," is being co-produced by Joe Unitas, one of the late quarterback's sons. However, his oldest son, John Unitas Jr., and grandson, J.C. Unitas, criticized the casting of Flacco.
John Unitas Jr. told USA Today on Sunday that Flacco is a "goofball" and is considering legal action if Joe Unitas profits from their father's name.
"If you want a quarterback, go with Peyton Manning," he said. "My father was just like that. This is a joke."
His son, J.C., wrote on his Facebook account that Flacco's casting is an "embarrassing choice." He also wrote: "My grandfather and his legacy deserves only the best, and this is not it. Has Baltimore forgotten that Trent Dilfer also won a Super Bowl while playing for Baltimore?"
Flacco was named MVP of the Super Bowl in February after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
Joe Unitas responded to his half-brother and nephew's criticism via a letter to the Baltimore Sun on Monday.
"(I'd) like to apologize to Joe (Flacco), his family, agent, and the Ravens organization for any embarrassment these comments may have caused. Joe is a respectable man, a great player, and very similar to my Dad in many ways. The Ravens organization is top notch and I respect them very much. Both deserve better."
Flacco will portray Unitas in scenes of the 1958 NFL championship game, in which he led the Colts to a win over the New York Giants, according to WBAL-TV. It is considered by many the greatest NFL game ever played.
The movie is based on the book "Johnny U: The Life and Times of John Unitas," written by Tom Callahan in 2007.
Flacco said in a statement Saturday that he is "excited and honored by the opportunity to play Johnny Unitas."
Unitas died in 2002.
Filming is scheduled to start this summer.