Chicago Man John Stone Fired for Wearing Green Bay Packers Tie to Work

There’s being a fan and then there’s being a fan.  Losing your job in one of the worst economies in American history because you’re committed to a football team?  Now that’s a real fan — or one of the most stubborn in the U.S. depending on your outlook.

John Stone, a 34-year-old car salesman who had worked at Webb Chevrolet in the Chicago area, was fired on Monday because he showed up for work wearing a Green Bay Packers tie and refused to remove it.  Stone told the Chicago Sun-Times that his boss, Jerry Roberts, told him he had two choices — take the tie off or lose his job.  When Stone chose the latter after five warnings, Roberts told him he was fired.

Wearing the tie may seem harmless to the outside viewer, but Roberts claims it could present serious problems and “make it harder to sell cars in what’s already a competitive environment.”  Roberts also said his dealership has deals with the Bears for advertising and some Chicago players even drive loaners from Webb Chevrolet.

For what it’s worth, Stone said he has been a Packers fan since he watched Ahman Green play.  Green’s first season in Green Bay was 2000, so we’re looking at a fan history that dates back no more than a decade for Stone.  Worth losing your job over?  Apparently so.  However, I’d be surprised if Stone can’t put together a decent lawsuit based on some of the things Roberts said about his dismissal.

Roberts told reporters that context is everything and even said, “If he’d worn the tie on Saturday I wouldn’t have minded.”  We obviously understand his point, but that could nix any hope he had of claiming the tie was against dress code and the employee was being insubordinate by refusing to take it off.  I don’t know how life in a dealership works, but if I were on a jury and someone told me an employee was fired for wearing an article of clothing on a certain day I would probably side with the employee.  In any event, can someone at least get this man a Super Bowl ticket?

Photo Credit: Chicago Sun-Times

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  • Gene

    I think the firing was justified. The man is in sales and meets the public. The public consists of Bear fans, since it is a Chicago dealership. The salesman, if he cared at all about the welfare of the dealership, should have never worn the tie to work in the first place.

    I doubt that he would have worn the tie if the Bears had won the game. It appears he did it just to needle all of the Bear fans who visit the dealership..

  • http://twitter.com/IntheOT Chad Margulius

    What a sick society we live in. Seriously…. Yes it may hurt his sales because customers are less likely to want to give him the time of day. But, no one should be fired for wearing a tie, Im positive it doesnt violate any company policies to cheer for other teams outside of Chicago.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone wears their favorite team apparel whether it is at work, the grocery store, in a bar, or any place in public. No he should not have been fired. Sounds like his boss is a sore loser i would say. seriously if i found a car i really liked and the price is right i would buy it and wouldnt worry what team the sales person liked… give me a break