Contrary to many reports on the “Clipper Darrell” situation and countless well-intended yet misled shows of support for Darrell Bailey, he is not nearly the victim he’s promoting himself to be. In fact, this is not the first time Mr. Bailey has had issues with the Clippers organization over using their trademarks and name like he’s their hired representative.
Even though the on-court Clippers are much improved over any previous Los Angeles Clippers team, their management and organizational culture is still catching up. This is just one of many dust-ups in a history of cheap, sometimes racist, reprehensible moves made by owner Donald Sterling and his franchise. The Clippers could’ve taken a different route than the attacking official statement they released which helped drive more support and sympathy to Mr. Bailey’s side of the argument.
Though Bailey has misled the public through various outlets, including his official website, by stating that the Clippers don’t want him to be “Clipper Darrell” anymore, the whole truth is far more reasonable. Darrell Bailey gets a free lower-bowl ticket because of how much the fans like him and because the Clippers do appreciate his support. The Clippers didn’t just decide out of the blue that they wanted Darrell Bailey to drop their name. This is not the first time they’ve had issue with him. The Clippers even offered to hire him as an official team employee with cheerleader’s pay, though he would have to forfeit the profits he makes from selling “Clipper Darrell” wristbands, t-shirts and public appearances, as well as give up control over what he could say in regard to the team. I believe the story is that he wanted more money and more power over his superfan character he self-promotes using official team trademarks unofficially. Representing oneself as a paid employee of the Clippers for profitable purposes, even if a long-time fan and former season ticket-holder, definitely puts you in question for your judgement — both morally and legally.
Darrell hasn’t always been the super-est of superfans.
He “organized” a thoroughly under-attended parade to promote bringing LeBron to the Clippers in free agency before the infamous “Decision.” The low parade attendance might have been a non-issue had it not been scheduled during a home Lakers playoff game on the streets between Staples Center and the rest of LA Live with thousands of Lakers fans drowning them out and neutralizing any positive effect it could have had. Entertaining offers from competing franchises doesn’t help Darrell’s story any further, as Mark “the Bankroll” Cuban proposed him a deal that would have made Bailey “Dallas Darrell.” Back before the firing of Coach Mike Dunleavy, “Clipper Darrell” was leading the cheers to get him axed. The most damning of all the evidence is probably that despite initially showing support for “Clipper Darrell” through social media giant Twitter, Clippers’ superstars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul deleted those “tweets.” Perhaps they were forced by the organization or perhaps they were just educated on his history. The Clippers just wanted to have control over what he sold and said. It’s quite obvious that this is, unfortunately, a monetary issue for Mr. Bailey.
As a life-long, die-hard Clippers fan, I would forgive the previous indiscretions and accept him back as our unofficial, yet literal leader of cheers, but Darrell Bailey needs to man up, apologize, send the profits he made as “Clipper Darrell” to a Clippers charity and accept that the Clippers are completely in-the-right to want control over what he can say and do. Not unlike the rotund, bright red-&-blue-suited Darrell, the chances of that happening are a bit fat.