‘Don’t Let Your People Gas You Up’: Daymond John Doubles Down on Why He Served Former ‘Shark Tank’ Contestants with a Restraining Order for Voicing Their Opinion About His Business Practices Online

“Shark Tank” judge Daymond John wants to help future Black entrepreneurs avoid what two former show contestants now describe as a “nightmare” deal with the businessman. 

Three months ago, the celebrity investor filed and secured a permanent restraining order against the two individuals for attempting to destroy his name and reputation in the public eye.

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Former NFL player Al “Bubba” Baker of Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs and his daughter patented the idea for his non-messy ribs in 2007 and the cooking process in 2011.

Daymond John
“Shark Tank” investor Daymond John is seeking a restraining order against former contestant Al “Bubba” Baker, who owns of Bubba Q’s Boneless Ribs. (Photos: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Webby Awards; Jesse Lirola/Getty Images)

Two years after that, Baker found himself and his daughter, Brittani Bo, on stage in front of John and his associates, accepting an offer that they later described as a “nightmare” in a series of videos on social media. 

The Bakers alleged they only received only 4 percent of the $16 million that was generated in revenue after promoting their products on the competition series during season 5. They claim they’ve been struggling to maintain their business since and have even had to sell their restaurant, their home and drain their savings to stay afloat.   

In an exclusive interview with Atlanta Black Star, Daymond John said it’s “unfortunate” their issues couldn’t be “resolved amicably,” but he has absolutely no regrets about the deal he signed with the Bakers. 

“That the party that did that had already agreed to various things in 2019,” John stated.

The Bakers have admitted to signing waivers and non-disclosure agreements without “asking a whole lot of questions.” They also accused John of changing their deal from the $300,000 that was originally discussed during the taping of “Shark Tank” to only offering $100,000 for a 35 percent stake.

There were also reports of John misleading and misappropriating funds and other allegations such as Bubba’s being funded using money from another company, “Shark Tank” invested in.

The order proves that the Bakers had been violating their non-disparagement agreement from the 2019 settlement.

John alleges that their foul accusations about his business practices cost him a television show that was in the works, a speaking engagement, and a pending deal with a “major brand,” which he did not name. The serial entrepreneur said regardless, he’s content with how things have played out over the past few months. 

“To get a federal judge to issue a restraining order that you can no longer talk about me in this sense, in the land of the freedom of speech is very, very difficult,” he explained. “And so business is based on facts, not opinions.”

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Many of the claims against John were revealed in an article by The Los Angeles Times in May. The restraining order also called for the Bakers, including Brittany Bo’s mother, Sabrina, to remove any social media posts about John and barred them from making further public remarks about their former business partner.

The Baker family has also been prevented from accepting email addresses from the public through pop-up windows on their company website and spreading information that could potentially violate their 2019 agreement, as noted in the order.

“So do not let your friends like I’m just keep it like we’re back in the hood. Don’t let your people gas you up,” said John, “because now its going to be extremely expensive to pay for those potential damages.”

The FUBU creator also alleges the Bakers went through seven different attorneys who all advised them against the suit against John, but they insisted. 

“And to say that I’m a bad partner and they publicly said they made 800,000 and I made 100[,000]. Boy, I want a bad partner like that any day, all day,” he joked. “Give me that bad partner. Give me 20 of those.”

To help other Black business owners thoroughly understand the contracts, paperwork or business deals they sign and the resources available to them, John is hosting his annual Black Entrepreneurs’ Day on Nov. 1 at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater, a venue he once conducted business in front of.

I started FUBU and I stood on a corner of the Apollo with my little table selling hats. And then I was able and up in the late nineties to be able to attend and buy seats there … to sit in the Apollo. And now this is going to be the third year where I’m booking at the Apollo for two days straight and giving away around a quarter $1,000,000 to the African-American community.”

John and his partners are giving away a total of $225,000 to several Black entrepreneurs and taking nothing home in return, contrary to the deals he negotiated on “Shark Tank.”

His hope is that all of the recipients of the money will become “powerful enough to become bigger and better than Daymond John will ever be.”

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