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A Chicago car salesman fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie is upset that his termination came over a football necktie. John Stone wore the necktie in honor of his late grandmother who passed away, he told the Chicago Tribune.
Alas, Stone worked for a car dealership in Bears country. His grandmother was a big fan of the Green Bay Packers who beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday in the NFC championship game to advance the Super Bowl.
His boss, Jerry Roberts, asked him to remove the tie, which he felt was unnecessary salt in the wounds of Chicago Bears fans. Stone says he at first believed Roberts was kidding. He was later approached on the sales floor where Roberts demanded he remove the tie. Stone declined, leading to his immediate termination, the Chicago Tribune reports.
"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," said Stone, 34. "I don't know why he did it, I really don't." By all accounts Stone was a good salesman, reports indicate his sold 14 vehicles in the last month. However, his boss Jerry Roberts, confirmed the firing, which he stood behind.
He says that his car dealership spends $20,000 a month advertisement with the Bears and that Stone could have antagonized customers or damaged his advertising relationship.
Roberts says that he asked Stone five times to remove the tie and defended his actions saying that Webb Chevrolet has a Bears friendly reputation in the community and that Stone put it at risk by wearing the Packers tie.
While it certainly seems a bit harsh, unless Stone was fired for wearing the packers tie only as a pretext for a discriminatory termination, the firing was probably legal. Fortunately the story ends on the bright side for Stone as well -- he has already been offered a sales job at another Chicago dealership.