Should Packers tie have cost car salesman his job?

Sports rivalries can be a fun way for co-workers to talk smack and engage in friendly banter in the workplace. That is, unless you’re taking about the NFL’s oldest and most-heated rivalry: the feud between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears.

Car salesman John Stone found that out the hard way. According to the Associated Press, Stone, who works in an auto dealership in Oak Lawn, Ill., wore a Packers tie to work on Monday to celebrate the team’s 21-14 win over the Bears in the NFC title game.

That didn’t sit well with his boss, Jerry Roberts, who asked Stone five times to remove the tie. When Stone refused, Roberts fired him. Roberts defended his actions, saying that Webb Chevrolet did promotions with the Chicago team and that a salesman wearing a Packers tie would anger customers deep in Bears country.

Should Stone have been fired? Was Roberts justified in his actions? Should Stone have simply taken off the tie? What do you think?

- By John Brieske, Blog Break

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15 comments Add your comment

Beth

January 25th, 2011
11:02 am

He should not have been fired! Everyone has a right to wear apparel that supports their favorite team.

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Darlene

January 25th, 2011
11:28 am

Please join us in helping John Stone get his job back! http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_185976368089804&notif_t=group_activity#!/home.php?sk=group_185976368089804&ap=1

Tom

January 25th, 2011
11:32 am

The Dealer has the right to have standards for the staff appearence while I think firing this salesman is a little extreme I would understand the dealer and GMs point of view. Dealers always like to control their evironment.

EP

January 25th, 2011
11:43 am

A salesman’s job is to know his customer.
Just as you would not wear a Coke hat to sell your trucking company’s services to Pepsi, he should have known better than to wear this.
He was not doing his job, and was warned multiple times.

An accessory is not a right and he could wear it on his own time. It was childish to think he had some right to offend potential customers that way.

Frankie

January 25th, 2011
12:11 pm

Is it worth loosing your job if the manager tells you to remove your tie. It is the same as if he wore a pair of pants that had a hole in them and he refused to change them. Besides if you do a lot of sales with the Chicago Bears who make a little more than the average citizen then you hold your employees to alittle different standard.

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ALS

January 25th, 2011
1:48 pm

At first, I thought I was going to support the Packers fan — freedom of speech, etc. But when I read the details, I realized that the bottom line is that his boss asked him to comply with dress standards, he didn’t and he got fired. Even if the boss didn’t have any good reason — and I would argue that a relationship with the Bears team is a pretty good reason, not to mention the clientele in the area (were angry Bears fans really going to want to buy a car from him the day after that painful loss? probably not) — he still ignored the rules set by his employer. Perhaps the Packers will hire him, with all of this publicity! Well, now he can party late into the night if they win the Super Bowl and not have to worry about dragging into work the next day!

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Baerman

January 25th, 2011
3:06 pm

I wonder if it would of been an issue if the Bears would of won? Seems a little petty, The GM was probably the kid who took the ball home if he was losing….

joey

January 26th, 2011
11:11 am

MY company, MY rules

Barry

January 26th, 2011
2:13 pm

I bet the employee handbook didn’t outline this situation. Why fire a good salesperson, he had 14 sales last month. Fired. A little extreme. The manager should have just given the salesperson a day off without pay to celebrate. Instead, the manager comes off as a weenee by bowing into overwhelming negative public opinion while maintaining he was correct to fire the guy in the first place. Hope they treat their customers better.

jim

January 27th, 2011
8:30 am

do what the boss wants you to do, nuff said.

Fred

January 27th, 2011
11:17 am

Since the dealership has a substantial investment in attracting Bears fans, the salesman should have complied with a direct order to take the tie off. The most important question of all is since he did not wear it before the game, would he have worn it had the Bears won?

Steve

January 30th, 2011
9:25 am

He should not have been fired, however he should have been smart enough to know that wearing a Green Bay tie in Chicago was not going to help him sell any cars.. He should be able to wear his choice of clothing but he needs to understand there are consequences to ones’ choices. To me he just looks like a troublemaker.