John Stone loves his Green Bay Packers (can you blame him?). Even though he lives in Chicago, he proudly supports the "Green and Gold." So after the Packers beat the Chicago Bears to win the NFC Championship game on Sunday and go to the Super Bowl, he wore his favorite Packers tie to work the next day. That didn't go over too well with his employer, however, and after refusing to take it off he was fired.
Stone is car salesman for Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, Chicago. The dealership is crawling with Bears fans, and even provides cars to Bears players. And when it comes down to it, the dealership's general manager admits Stone wasn't fired for poor performance or a lousy attitude. He was fired for "salting the wounds" of Bears fans.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports:
The facts aren’t in dispute, only the appropriateness of the novelty neckwear.
“He said, ‘You have two options,’ ” a furious Stone said later Monday. “Remove the tie, or you’re fired.”
“When I didn’t, he said, ‘You can leave, you’re fired.’ Does that sound fair to you?” [...]
“I was just showing my love for my team and it was a nice, smart tie that matched my clothes — none of the customers minded: they had a sense of humor about it.”
[General Manager Jerry] Roberts agreed that no customers had complained about the tie when Stone was asked to remove it at 10:30 a.m., and that Stone was a good salesman who sold 14 cars last month.
But he said the tie was “salting the wounds” of Bears fans including himself and that it “makes it harder to sell cars in what’s already a competitive sales environment.”
Stone, who worked at the dealership for a month-and-a-half, was reportedly given five chances to remove the tie. He didn't. And Roberts admits the tie didn't violate dress code. If he would have worn it on Saturday, Roberts said, it would have been fine.
And what if he would have worn it had the Packers lost?
“I suspect he wouldn’t have worn the tie," Roberts told the Sun-Times.
Stone told sports radio host Dan Patrick he found a new job at a different dealership.