Two security guards who were working at Reliant Stadium during Sunday’s game between the Houston Texans and New England Patriots claim they were fired for taking a photo with Tom Brady. One of the employees, Joe Williams, told KHOU in Houston that he was just about to clock out for the day when he spotted Brady.
“I said, ‘Hey Tom Brady, good job, good game man,’” Williams explained. “He looked at me and smiled. He was very polite, very nice guy, humble. Sometimes I see players and say hello, and they just keep walking.
“Immediately after I took the picture, I got ran down by a supervisor. They didn’t’ really give a reason, they said you know you’re wrong and you’re fired.”
Williams acknowledged that stadium security members are not supposed to take photos with athletes while they are at their post because they are supposed to be securing their area. However, he thought it was OK since he was essentially done with work for the day. Co-worker Christopher Moore, who was also fired, said he has seen other employees do the same and keep their jobs.
“What they say and what they practice are two different things,” Moore said. “What we see on a daily basis, whether it be Reliant or CSC employees, is them taking picture and asking for autographs from players.”
Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC) basically told KHOU in a statement that rules are rules.
“It is strictly against CSC policy for its employees to request photos or autographs from players,” CSC said. “CSC stands by its decision to terminate the two employees who violated this policy.”
While some may think firing the employees was excessive, it seems like the rules were pretty clear and both Williams and Moore were well aware of them. It makes sense that stadium employees are not allowed to pester athletes for pictures, as that would be a slippery slope. Moore and Williams were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.