January 25, 2011 / 7:03 PM / 9 years ago

Chicago car salesman fired for wearing Green Bay Packers tie

CHICAGO (Reuters)- A Chicago-area car salesman who was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers necktie to work found a new job on Tuesday.

John Stone, 34, wore the tie to his job at John Webb Chevrolet in suburban Oak Lawn the day after the Packers’ victory against their archrival, the Chicago Bears, for a National Football League conference championship.

Stone told WGN-TV he wore the tie in honor of his recently deceased grandmother, a lifelong Packer fan. He was fired for refusing to take it off.

But Guy Cesario, general manager of Chevrolet of Homewood, in another Chicago suburb, heard the story, sympathized, and hired Stone.

Cesario said he saw Stone interviewed on WGN-TV Monday about the firing, and liked how Stone presented himself.

“Good salesman are real hard to find right now,” Cesario said. “You could tell he’s a really good salesman.”

Stone’s choice of neckwear did not sit well with Jerry Roberts, the general manager at John Webb Chevrolet. Roberts told WGN that Webb Chevrolet has an advertising relationship with the Bears, and he fired Stone for wearing the Packer tie.

“I don’t feel that it was appropriate for him to go in directly in contrast with an advertising campaign that we spend a lot of money on,” Roberts told WGN.

At first, when Roberts told him he was fired, Stone said he thought he was kidding. Stone said he volunteered to cover up the tie by zipping up his jacket. “He said ‘You’re fired, get out,’” Stone told WGN.

“My grandmother loved the Green Bay Packers - the Packers was her team. I don’t know why that was, with her being in Chicago,” Stone told WGN. “I love you grandma, and I love my Packers.”

Writing by Mary Wisniewski, additional reporting by John Rondy, Edited by Greg McCune

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