Fan fired over Packers tie lands new job

A day after being fired from his job as a car salesman in suburban Chicago for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie, John Stone has a new job with a rival dealership, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday.

Stone was fired from Webb Chevrolet in Oak Lawn after he refused to take off a Green Bay tie the day after the Chicago Bears lost to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

The 34-year-old salesman’s story attracted international attention and a rival dealer, who said he became inundated with offers from Packers fans to buy cars if he hired Stone, decided to extend an offer to him.

“They’ve been calling from as far away as San Diego, saying they’ll buy from him and only him,” said Guy Cesario of Chevrolet of Homewood. “It’s hard to believe anybody could be so stupid as to fire a good salesman for wearing a Packers tie.”

Webb Chevrolet general manager Jerry Roberts said he asked Stone to remove the tie five times, saying it might aggravate Bears fans and make it more difficult to sell cars. When Stone refused, he was fired.

“He said, ‘You have two options,’” a furious Stone said Monday to the Sun-Times. “Remove the tie or you’re fired.”

“When I didn’t, he said, ‘You can leave, you’re fired.’ Does that sound fair to you?’”

Stone, a father of two who had worked at the dealership for a month and a half, said he has been a Packers fan for about a decade and that he was wearing the tie, in part, to honor his grandmother — a Packers fan — who had died last week.

“I was just showing my love for my team, and it was a nice, smart tie that matched my clothes. None of the customers minded. They had a sense of humor about it,” Stone told the Sun-Times.

Roberts defended the firing by saying that the Packers tie would have "salted the wounds" of Bears fans.

Roberts said the dealership spends $20,000 a month in radio advertising with the Bears, including a "Most Valuable Bear” award handed out after each game.

“If he loves the tie more than his job, he’s welcome to keep wearing it — elsewhere,” Roberts said.

Now Stone can do just that.