TACOMA, Wash. — A Seattle-area teenager says he lost his job after he wore his Denver Broncos jersey to work on Sunday.
Nathaniel Wentz, 17, worked at Odyssey 1, a family entertainment center in Tacoma.
Yahoo Sports reports Wentz thought his boss meant employees could wear any jersey, when they were told to wear them to support their team Sunday.
The Broncos played the Patriots and the Seahawks played the 49ers in the conference championship games.
Most of the employees wore Seahawks gear, but Wentz put on his Demaryius Thomas jersey. No. 88 is a star receiver for the Denver Broncos.
Wentz says management apparently didn’t like that much and sent him home to change.
“I’m a die hard,” Nathaniel told KING 5 in Seattle.
“We’re very passionate about it,” added his father, Randall.
“It was all about you can’t. You can’t represent your team. There’s something wrong with that,” said Nathaniel.
The teen’s dad says he tried to call management at Odyssey 1, but the call was never returned. The young man stayed home.
The 17-year-old high school quarterback says he was technically fired for not returning to work on Sunday. It turns out, however, you can be fired in Washington for wearing a Broncos jersey, even a Seahawks jersey, if the boss doesn’t like it.
Even in a city awash in Seahawks blue, however, Nathanial is finding support among Seattleites to wear his Bronco orange.
“I think it’s crazy,” said Hawks fan Bernie Crump, as he waited in line outside Century Link Field to pick up his Super Bowl tickets. “We’re civilized here. It’s not like we live in Philadelphia!”
Odyssey 1 did issue a response to the controversy on its Facebook page Tuesday:
“To show support for The Seattle Seahawks on game day, our employees may choose to wear a Seahawks Jersey in place of our standard uniform, which is required. To prevent any possible conflicts, the option of wearing other teams’ jerseys is not allowed. The employee reported to work in an unauthorized uniform and was asked to change into a standard uniform. Soon after he left to change into an accepted uniform, we received a phone call stating that he was not returning to work, leaving his position unfilled and creating extra stress for the staff covering his job on a busy weekend day.”