Super-Fan ‘Clipper Darrell’ Says Team Doesn’t Want Him Using Name, Clips Call Claims ‘Absurd’

Clippers Darrell

Clippers DarrellThe Los Angeles Clippers are having one hell of a season, leading the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with a 20-12 record. Despite the winning season, not all fans are happy … especially longtime Clippers diehard “Clipper Darrell.”

The 11-year season ticket holder (real name: Darrell Bailey) has been a fixture at Clippers home games for more than a decade, always decked out in loud red-and-blue outfits and puts on his own show in the audience … dancing and screaming.

However, Darrell announced on his website on Wednesday (February 29) that the team has asked him to refrain from using the nickname “Clipper Darrell” so there is no confusion about whether he’s officially associated with the team or not. He’s not … officially.

“I have been told by Clipper management they no longer want me to be Clipper Darrell, a name that was given to me by the media because of my unwavering support and team spirit. I am devastated,” he wrote at ClipperDarrell.com. “Yesterday was the hardest day of my life, I felt powerless as a fan, as I was stripped of my identity however, no one can take away my heart and the love I have for my team!”

After Bailey announced the news on Twitter, Clippers players quickly came to his support, including the team’s stars.

Clippers guard Chris Paul wrote, “WE GOT YOU!!!”

Clippers forward Blake Griffin tweeted, “Bring back #ClipperDarrell,” and Clippers center DeAndre Jordan added, “I love you Clipper Darrell&#ClipperDarrell.”

Darrell further explained the situation to ESPN: “I’m not feeling too good right now. They asked me not to be Clipper Darrell anymore. They don’t want me to dance. They don’t want me to cheer anymore at the games. I can’t be Clipper Darrell. They don’t want me in the suit. They don’t want me to do anything anymore.”

In response, the Clippers issued a statement calling his claims “absurd and unfounded.” The team says Darrell’s inappropriate use of the Clippers’ name for “commercial gain” is an issue, but added that they’ve only asked that he consult with the team before using the name for public appearances and commercial venues … and apparently, Baily took issue to that.

“The Clippers have done absolutely nothing wrong or inappropriate as it concerns Darrell Bailey. His claims are absurd and unfounded. He has never been an employee or representative of the Clippers organization, and therefore cannot be terminated,” the team said. “The Clippers have never engaged Mr. Bailey’s services. When he has been in need, the organization has regularly provided him a seat for games. No good deed goes unpunished.

“We have had multiple conversations with him concerning his inappropriate use of the Clippers’ team name and trademark for his own unmonitored commercial gain. We have spoken to him repeatedly about his desire to make public appearances in ways which improperly suggest that he is officially affiliated with our organization. In all cases and over a long period of time, he has consistently rejected our efforts to operate in consultation.

“In a conversation with an authoritative and tenured Clippers’ executive last week, he was asked again to either consult with the team on all public appearances and/or commercial ventures, or stop undertaking those opportunities representing himself inappropriately. His response was an offer to stop representing himself commercially in that way and his offer was accepted in principle. The next thing we heard was the baseless claims he has made today and the ensuing media rush to judgment.

“We hold all of our fans in the highest esteem and we have been patient and generous with Mr. Bailey. He has not returned our support in an honorable way. He is not actually a fan of the Clippers, but a fan of what he can make off of the Clippers. We are no longer interested in that kind of association with him, and that is why we accepted his offer to remove our team name from his stage name.”

According to ESPN.com, Bailey has raised issues with the Clippers, publicly, in the past. He’s complained about the team holding him back and preventing him from securing endorsement deals, while the team has been upset that he has sold merchandise and booked public appearances on his website using the Clippers name for years.

A Clippers fan for over 15 years, and a season ticket holder since 2000-01, Bailey involves the Clippers into every aspect of his life. He wears a custom-made suit, half red, half blue to home games. He drives a customized 1995 BMW 740i, painted in red, white and blue with a Clippers logo and autographs on the hood and “CLIPERD” license plates. Even his Los Angeles home, where he lives with his wife and four children, is painted in Clippers colors.

1 comment
  1. I’ve been to many Clipper games, and they would not be the same without Clipper Darrell!
    Hopefully they can come to am agreement.

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