Packers Tie Costs Car Salesman His Job

OAK LAWN, Ill. (WBBM) — A Chicago area car salesman’s loyalties to the green-and-yellow of the Green Bay Packers have cost him his job.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports, when John Stone showed up for work Monday at Webb Chevrolet, at 9440 S. Cicero Ave. in Oak Lawn, he was wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to celebrate the Packers’ 21-14 victory over the Bears in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But Webb Chevrolet has identified itself with the Bears in its advertising, and after being told several times that he would get fired if he didn’t take off the tie, Stone was terminated.

Stone claims he thought general manager Jerry Roberts was joking when Roberts kept telling him to take off the tie.

Roberts says the tie was like salt in the wound for Bears fans such as himself – too much, even, to keep a good salesman like Stone who sold 14 cars last month.

Roberts was interviewed by phone by ESPN on Tuesday morning. He said he wore the tie to honor his grandmother, a longtime Packer fan who died last week.

He also said he has as job interview today with another Chevrolet dealership in Homewood.

  • Rob131

    Actually, he was fired for insubordination…the boss told him to take off his tie twice but did not…even if the boss was a packer fan–it makes sense not to wear packers’ tie after the bears lost to them in playoffs…who would want to buy a car from such a dealership? The salesman needed to use some common sense….and the boss should have explained it to him clearer.

    • Roberta Waker

      His right to freedom of expression was violated and he should sue this dealership. If people can fly the Mexican flag OVER the flag of the United States and not get punished; how could they fire this guy? I’ll bet a lot of his loyal customers will follow him to his new dealership because GOOD salesmen are hard to find; dealerships aren’t.

      • KE

        Did you actually THINK before you wrote that?
        And how many GOOD dealerships are there — you know the ones that stand behind your car purchase AFTER the salesman has moved on.

    • joe

      isn’t this america.did the dealership have a dress code?someone would be fired for wearing a non local teams necktie?sad day for americans rights!

      • Spoon

        Wearing anything you choose to work is not a right.

        You are free to wear that same tie anywhere you choose without having the gov’t come down and beat you for it. The same way the car dealership has the right to choose what’s appropriate attire for working there. In this case, it was a dealer tied with the Bears PR dept. Again…

        This is right out of the Chapelle skit “when keeping it real…. goes wrong….”

      • KE

        You are NOT getting it. Read the facts of the case.

    • Jen

      Fired for a tie, are you serious. What kind of people are there in the Chicago area that they can’t support some one else’s view on the team they like. Like John, I am a Packer fan. Today happen to be wearing the NFC Champs T-Shirt. Everyone has been taking it with a grain of salt. Personally I will NEVER be buying a car from this dealership for that kind of act. GROW UP WEBB CHEVORLET, IT”S A TIE!!! and the fact that this guy has sold an average of a car every two days and you will terminate him for a tie, I guess you really don’t want that income, apparently he was doing something right!! GOOD LUCK JOHN!!! Go sell your Packer heart out at a competing dealership!!!!!!!!!!

    • sg

      u ahve to be a total idiot freedom of speech and expression maybe that store will become a packer store after he owns it

      • KE

        Who is the idiot?
        What do you think insubordination is??
        And you do not think you should get fired for it?

    • Vetus

      Yeah, he should have understood that Chicagoans are sore losers or, just plain ole’ every day losers.

      • jdubs

        Thats why your reading a Chicago news website right?

      • KE

        Not only that, the dealership has a long standing business relationship with the Chicago bears.

  • Scoop

    Who would want to buy a car from such a dealership????? Are you kidding me? How about anyone with a brain in their head who doesn’t let stupid things like games get in the way of making a huge investment. Men are idiots when it comes to sports. What a bunch of moronic crybabies. I hope this guy sues them for wrongful termination.

    • Harlin S. Neal

      Scoop…unless that guy was under a contract, and the terms of the contract were violated when he was fired, there isn’t anything that guy can do about it. He, like me, you, and other non-contracted workers, are “at will” employees at our jobs. “At Will” means you can be let go for any reason, or for no reason at all.

      Yes…being fired for wearing a Packers’ tie sounds stupid. But if his boss told him to take the tie off several times, and warned the guy of termination prior, and the guy didn’t do as he was told…then I’m sorry. Like it or not, the boss had every piece of leverage to let the guy go.

      • StupidPeopleFTW

        I’m sure the dealership is loving the free advertising, in addition to the local Bear fans that will now go out of their way to shop there for the exact same reason that people from out of town, would wouldnt buy a car there anyway, wouldnt.

        Brilliant advertising. Free national exposure, and giving the locals a reason to stop by there to look at a car for some reason other than what’s displayed in the lot. I see this as win-win for Webb. Hell, my signifigant other is looking for a car now and the first place I wanna stop at is Webb now.

      • Scoop

        Firing this salesman was the absolute worst decision this GM could have made. This is now national news, being talked about on national sports radio, and the vast majority of listeners are siding with the fired employee. The dealer review sites are already showing a negative backlash against Webb Chevy. I’m betting it will be in the network news tonight. The message this dealership sent by firing this guy is that if you are anything but a Bears fan, we don’t want to do business with you. Really smart move in this economy…

      • KE

        Well said

  • grown woman

    If people were as concerned about helpintheir fellowmen stupid thingslike this man losing a job over something so trivial as supporting another team than hisboss. His boss has no right todemand this fellow to remove his tie. Unless a person is not indecent in this dress, the boss was out of order. This boss sounds like an idiot. And for the fool who said “who would buy a car from him”….who would care about the color of a man’s tie if a good deal on a new car is at hand. People, et excited and go to church on Sundays….it will do you better than a bears game. That boss just wanted to show his power…..I would not want to work for a man like this. Perhaps Mr. Green Tie will find a better job quickly.

    • Harlin S. Neal

      Yes, the boss did. The boss is in charge, and if he didn’t want his salespeople wearing Packers ties, then it’s the job of the salespeople to do what they’re told…plain and simple. Like it or not, the boss had every right to do what he did. Yeah…losing a job over something trivial like wearing a Packers’ tie is sad. But…considering the emotion of the loss, countered by the fact the dealership “identified itself with the Bears in their advertising”…this Packers’ supporter could’ve shown his support differently.

      He could’ve worn a solid colored tie in Packers’ green, or maybe a green and yellow tie. Bottom line…the boss was within his rights. Like it or not…that Packers supporter was in the wrong by not doing what his boss told him to do. He was warned, and the boss did what he had the right to do…no matter how popular or unpopular it was.

      • Roberta Waker

        We’ll just see what the courts think about the salesman’s rights. Bet the dealership will lose in the long run. I personally wouldn’t buy a car from Webb because they took away someone’s livelihood over trivia and they DID violate his rights. Hope he sees them in court; it’s time employers paid for their stupidity. No one was hurt and the dealership didn’t suffer any financial loss; so why be such idiots? Bad publicity is worse than NO publicity.

  • OhRlly

    By your reasoning, I should be able to wear a nazi uniform at a jewish funeral parlor

    • Average Guy

      Now that was way over the top. And, no you shouldn’t wear a sheet to the local NAACP meeting either.

      • KE

        Thank you for putting it in ” simple man’s” terms.

  • Jim

    There may be something in the employee handbook where appearance or dress is regulated in such a way to not offend others, interfere with the company doing business or the like. Such a section is in the handbook where I work.The company does pay many thousands to brand itself a certain way and chooses to align itself with the Bears. Having someone support the Packers in such a flagrant manner could potentially affect their business.

    He was asked to remove the tie multiple times and his refusal was an insubordinate act, like it or not. An intelligent person would have taken the tie off, then if he is so inclined, go running to an attorney if what his boss asked was out of line according to the company policies and operating procedures. Until we know details of that, all else is speculation.

    • KE

      So the special made tie with the naked wife’s body imprinted down the length of the entire tie is something one might NOT want to wear to work — say as an elementary school teacher or preacher?? But why??

      What one thinks is appropriate for work is NOT always the correct choice.

  • Heidi Hurtig Fleischer

    wow! this is ridiculous!! insubordination my @$$! was there salesmen with Bears ties ?? i hope he sues the ties off of Webb!!

  • JoJo

    send that cheesehead packing!

  • jeff

    Isn’t it PACKY WEBB

  • lovingmetoo

    Webb is a bunch of racist idiots….GO PACK

    • KE

      Racist huh?
      Own a dictionary?? Thought not.

  • Chris in Scottsdale

    At any rate… “The Whole Town’s talkinaboutthe Webb Boys… The Webb Boys… The Webb Boys…”

  • Kman

    If it had been a Cubs tie I would fully support his termination.

  • Tom

    This seems to say more about the Bears business practices, expectations, and beliefs than it does the car dealership’s. But don’t worry. This guy will be lauded a hero in Wisonsin and he’ll end up there with a better job. Look for him on T.V. and radio there.

  • enoughsaid

    If the Webb boys would ruin a guys life over a tie, imagine what they do to thier customers…..Neanderthals at work for sure

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      If the Webb boys are this loyal to their business parters, imagine what they do for their customers!

      See, I can make things up too!

      • KE

        And that dealership is VERY GOOD to their customers!

  • Fed up

    Some times I wonder why companies shoot themselves in the foot. Can’t they aim at something else? There is always tomorrow to get even if that is what you need to do. Wait for him to take a car home or offend a customer and then fire him. Truth be told, if you waited for tomorrow you would not do it because you realize how petty it really is.

  • vic p

    If Webb Chevrolet identify itself with the bears in it’s advertising,the situation is no different than the employee showing up for his job at the Chevy dealership wearing a Ford or Chrysler logo.

    • KE


  • cliff

    should have worn a who dat tie ………………..

  • Spoon

    When Keeping it Real…. Goes Wrong..

  • Stupid is as stupid does.

    Yeah he kept it real. Real dumb, that is. Honor your loved ones on your own time. Honor your loved ones by not being fired over a tie. If only that “loved one” could come back from the grave and slap some common sense into this idiot.

  • derek

    People need to learn to read better. This is not a case of being a bears or packers fan, this dealership has a BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP with the bears. That would be like a coke employee wearing a pepsi hat to work. Hey how come Jordan never wore reeboks during a game?????? Oh thats right……he had a contract with NIKE!! So with unemployment the way it is, I guess the smart thing to do would be get fired over a stupid tie.

    • LAK

      The salesman was new on the job and wasn’t aware of the Bear’s contract. The GM didn’t explain it to him and the first time the GM told him to take it off, the salesman thought it was a joke and other employees heard it also. The second time the salesman was with a customer when he was told to take it off and he just continued helping his customer. The third time he was told to take it off he was fired and wasn’t even given the chance to correct the behavior nor to explain about his grandmother before he was told to leave. I know this is not in this article but it was on the news.
      I know the salesman was at fault for not knowing about the rules but I have had jobs where managers joke with their employees and it is often hard to tell if the boss is serious or joking. If the other employees who had been working there longer thought the GM was serious, don’t you think at least one of them would have said it? What would the GM have done if the salesman left the customer alone to take care of the tie situation? There is enough blame to go around here to the salesman, the GM and other employees.
      I’ve been at companies where there is much information left out of the employee handbook, but employees are expected to know about the non-written rules. It is always a mine field tring to navigate because you never know if you are going to do something wrong. Apparently this salesman had worn a Packers hat on his first day at work and he was not told about the BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP with the Bears then. Why would he believe that wearing a Packers tie would get him fired?
      Again there is enough blame for everyone.

    • KE

      So true Derek

  • Eric M. Harlston Sr.

    Wow I guess his right to express himself is out the door. The thanks he gets for selling all those cars.

    • KE

      Sometimes you have to get rid of a “problem employee” no matter how good he is for the sake of the overall business.

      Noone says that he could not have apologized to the manager and/or owner and have gotten his job back — but NOW that the media got ahold of this story — that may never happen

    • StupidPeopleFTW

      You have no right to express yourself at your place of employment, outside the bounds of what they set. The same resaon you cant show up to work at wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt if there’s a dress code that require a suit.

      When your boss tells you to do something, and you say no, repeatedly, you get fired. It’s very simple.

  • New Job For Car Salesman With Packers Tie « CBS Chicago

    […] Thus, he offered Stone a job, after he was fired for wearing a Packers tie to work at Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn, the day after th… […]

  • GBFan

    Who cares? The Bears still suck and the Packers are going to the Superbowl!!!

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