‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John Slams Report That He Tried to Sell N95 Masks at Inflated Prices and Fans Rally in Support

Daymond John of ABC’s Shark Tank is known for his FUBU clothing empire and high ticket investments on the hit reality show. Also a proponent of giving back and helping others, John is often one of the first to broker deals with a charitable component.

Fans of John quickly dismissed rumors that the Shark Tank star was accused of price gauging coveted N95 masks in Florida amid the coronavirus crisis. The fashion mogul immediately took to Instagram to slam the salacious story and personally present the facts.

Daymond John of ‘Shark Tank’ | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Daymond John calls out Miami Herald

The melee began on April 22 when the Miami Herald reported that John attempted to arrange a deal that would sell the state of Florida 1 million N95 masks for $7 apiece. The millionaire investor wasted no time in rebuking the accusations.

“Today’s Miami Herald story and subsequent reports are false, inaccurate and shows a complete reckless disregard for the truth,” John said in a statement on social media.

The Shark Tank star went on to outline his actions. “Let me be clear,” he stated. “Proper reporting would have shown I did not set any prices and that my team worked with the state of Florida to: 1. Save lives 2. Help vet the overwhelming amount of incoming PPE offerings based on my manufacturing expertise and guide them how to best do this 3. Play a pivotal role to stop price gouging, and successfully identify potential fraud and theft of PPE product to protect taxpayer funds.”

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“States were not set up to vet and operate global supply chains and sourcing,” John’s statement continued. “Many states were forced to blindly wire money to nefarious parties around the world and ultimately never received correct or safe product.”

‘Shark Tank’ star hoped to help Florida citizens

John specifically outlined his company’s steps in trying to help the state of Florida. “My company was serving as an intermediary to vet the numerous 3M distributors and to protect Florida taxpayers, while establishing escrow protections that allowed the State to conduct proper due diligence before finalizing its purchase of masks,” he wrote.

The FUBU owner concluded his statement with a sharp rebuke to the Miami Herald and their inaccurate reporting.

“Our system did exactly what it was intended to do. No money was spent and every penny of taxpayers money remained safe. We will continue to work with the proper government agencies in this capacity,” his statement said. “The Miami Herald‘s characterization of my work completely disregards this. Instead, it opts for a gross distortion of the truth in a blind effort to create splashy headlines to mislead readers.”

Jared Moskowitz, Director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, publicly backed up John’s statement on Twitter. “Thank you @TheSharkDaymond for trying to help me save lives,” Moskowitz tweeted along with John’s statement. “I support the statement below. We will continue to do everything we can to help our doctors and nurses, the hero’s on the front line.

Fans rally in support of FUBU owner

After John posted his statement, responses in support of the Shark Tank investor poured in. “You will always have our trust and support,” one Instagram follower wrote. “You are the nicest person who is real, humble, down to earth. We believe in you. Forever and always.”

“Irresponsible reporting by the Miami Herald,” another posted in criticism of the Florida news outlet. “The fake news is an injustice to people trying to do the right thing for others.”

“Thank you for your service 🙌 to our frontline workers,” another fan commented.

Fans of John may have been quick to voice their defense of the fashion mogul due to his many philanthropic endeavors. Helping under-served entrepreneurs and mentoring young men of color through programs such as President Obama’s initiative, My Brother’s Keeper, John is often reaching out to those who seeking guidance.

The Shark Tank investor has also been active on social media giving advice to small business owners on how to stay afloat throughout the COVID-19 crisis. If John’s history is any indication of his character, it’s easy to see why he has such a massive and loyal fan base.