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Video: Washington's Nathaniel Wentz fired after wearing Broncos jersey to work

Categories: Sports, Videos

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Photos, video below.
The Super Bowl match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks pairs teams from states that both allow sales of recreational marijuana. But that doesn't mean the build-up to the big game has been especially mellow.

An example: Nathaniel Wentz, a Broncos fan who happens to live in Washington, was sacked after wearing a Demaryius Thomas jersey to work. Photos, video and details below.

The story comes to us courtesy of Seattle's King 5 TV. As noted by the station, Wentz worked at Odyssey 1, a family entertainment business in Tacoma.

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Odyssey 1, as seen in King 5 TV coverage.
Staffers at Odyssey 1 were told they could wear a team jersey this past Sunday, when the last playoff contests prior to the Super Bowl took place.

Presumably, management assumed everyone would show up in Seahawks togs, since Seattle was playing the San Francisco 49ers that day. But Wentz is a lifelong Broncos booster, and when he showed up rocking white, blue and orange in honor of Denver's tilt against the New England Patriots, he was told to go back to his place and change.

Wentz did indeed head home, but he didn't return -- and he learned the next day that he'd been fired.

The technical reason for the sacking was Wentz's decision not to come back to Odyssey 1 for his shift wearing approved duds. But employment law would have allowed him to be handed his head for his initial choice of shirt, too, since businesses have the right to determine appropriate outfits for workers -- and in Tacoma these days, Thomas's number 88 apparently doesn't qualify.

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Inside the Wentz house.
Back at his abode, part of which resembles a virtual Broncos shrine, Wentz took his Odyssey termination in stride during his King 5 TV interview, expressing pleasure that now he won't have to worry about being scheduled to work on Super Bowl Sunday.

Would bosses in Denver make a similar move? Well, here's a personal anecdote from this past Sunday. Prior to the Broncos-New England game, my wife and I went to our neighborhood King Soopers to stock up on supplies. Our checker, a longtime staffer at the store, is an East Coast resident with a distinctive park-the-car-in-the-yard accent -- and unlike her fellow employees, who were all decked out in Broncos gear, she proudly wore a Patriots jersey. But while my wife and I joked with her about her garb, the guy behind us, wearing a Broncos cap, glared angrily at the checker throughout the conversation.

Relax, man. It all worked out okay.

Here's the King 5 TV report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Sports archive: "Videos: The Daily Show, Colbert Report on Denver-Seattle marijuana Super Bowl."


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58 comments
Jacob Johnson
Jacob Johnson

Eh fuck em, we got a better team and better weed.

Chris Muller
Chris Muller

brutal...i wanna apply there and wear my bronco sweatshirt

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

because butthurt fanbois/fangrrls can't get enough

Chris Trotter
Chris Trotter

This again... Its his own fault for not returning to work.

Jeremy Crosslin
Jeremy Crosslin

By not returning is enough to get you fired! It's lame but? I live in San Diego and they same the same shit! Wear a chargers jersey or your work shirt! Not cool....

Tom Spain
Tom Spain

Hey Sterling! Fuck yourself douchebag. How about this? You're fired for being a fucking punk bitch! I guess that's not discriminatory because it's true!

fitzbim
fitzbim

But we're still free and not slaves at all. >_>

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Clearly, you don't understand the LEGAL definition of discrimination.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

"Second: even if they had specified the team he was allowed to wear, that's discrimination. " Fail. Fandom is not a protected class. Shut up; you're dumb.

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

It is painfully obvious the butthurt reactionaries here aren't familiar with the concept of AT-WILL employment.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

This is what happens when governments invent "workers' rights" that don't actually exist except in the minds of the people who write them down on paper. People think they can interpret the rules however they want, and when they get bent, just "not show up" for work.

TJ Hobbs
TJ Hobbs

If everyone was just cheered for one team what would be the point...? Let him be a fan and enjoy the controversy that's what makes the game fun. Go Vikings!! And broncos too

Shelly Meyer
Shelly Meyer

His boss is a jerk. If he said show your team spirit, it shouldn't matter which team it is, despite the fact that he lives in Seattle. That's discrimination.

Ashlie Rodriguez
Ashlie Rodriguez

If I didn't go back to work, I'd be fired too! GO HAWKS!!

Lori Mills
Lori Mills

Not coming back was wrong. But who wants to work for an employer like that anyway. Go Broncos!!!

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"Wentz did indeed head home, but he didn't return -- and he learned the next day that he'd been fired."

So, in other words, your headline is a clickbait lie.

Tom Spain
Tom Spain

First: caring enough about football to rip away someone's means of income makes you an ignorant, stupid meathead asshole! If you're that into sports, go kill yourself before you infect the gene pool with your mental deficiency. Second: even if they had specified the team he was allowed to wear, that's discrimination. Third: (and this one is especially for Jake & Rob above) they sent him home for a reason that is both discriminatory and illegal. Not to mention just downright fucking idiotic. It's just a stupid football game. And because of that, the fact that he didn't return is a moot point. It was illegal to send him home for that. Hopefully you 2 don't get canned from your jobs for wearing your dunce caps. I find it that people with your attitude are usually the worst employees: the kind that always can find fault with others' work ethic are usually the lazy complainers trying to deflect blame onto others. Ok, now reply about how I'm the lazy one and you'd kick my ass! Ha!

Steph Kleeman
Steph Kleeman

If I left work and didn't return, I would expect to be fired

Corey Hinkle
Corey Hinkle

They shouldn't have made him change lol they said they could wear jerseys they didn't specify on who's jersey they just assumed and you know what happens when people assume ^.^

Sally O'Hare
Sally O'Hare

This company is about to have a Lawsuit on their hands

Star Stepping
Star Stepping

we allow all teams represented where I work..

Roger Schrecongost
Roger Schrecongost

Should have went home changed into another Bronco jersey and went back to work.

RustyShackleford
RustyShackleford

Fired? Good!

Here's a tip - unless you are an active member of that sports team, and on the field of play, wearing a sports jersey makes you look like a marketing shill and a tool. Because you are.

Brian Scott Bailey
Brian Scott Bailey

So they told their employees that they could wear football jerseys of their favorite team. Employee came in with a non local team and he was fired for not wearing appropriate attire? Excuse me? Right to Work State strikes again. Last I checked this is a free country. We can like the teams that we want. I am a life long Broncos fan. One of my friends is a life long Raiders fan. If he went to work allowed to wear his favorite team jersey he would come to work wearing a Raiders. And he should not be fired. Even though this is Broncos Country. Saying you can wear your favorite team jersey does not mean it is local team. The most popular NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys (God I hate them). What happened if someone wore one of those? Sad really. Sad.

Rob Payne
Rob Payne

He should have came back and deserves to be fired for that.

marcusrrose
marcusrrose

Sounds to me that the employer is not someone you would want to work for....The guy is not sporting a shirt from a compettior, its for HIS favorite team.  There are plenty of delusional souls living in Denver that are not Bronocs fans who sport their crap from another city, and although nauseating, shouldn't be a factor for employment.  I think its a blessing that he got let go from this shit bag company, cause there is an employer out there worth working for. 

Jake Culbertson
Jake Culbertson

And if your boss told you to go change and come back, and you just didn't come back to work, you'd be fired also and it wouldn't be because of the jersey you wore. It would be because you didn't come back to work

Jake Culbertson
Jake Culbertson

He wasn't. He was fired for not coming back to work after being told to go change and come back

Diane Stinson
Diane Stinson

They didn't specify certain teams. They're fault they "assumed"...

Kasey Learned
Kasey Learned

Both sides are to blame BUT the employer SHOULD have set clear expectations and they kinda need to grow up

Rick Perry
Rick Perry

this guy needs to jump on the wave and APPLY NNOOOOWWW!! to the Broncos organization.

Jake Culbertson
Jake Culbertson

If my job told me to go home and change then come back, and I didn't return, I would expect to be fired also. This is on his lazy ass not showing back up to work, not on the business.

James A Medina
James A Medina

This is b.s.. it shouldn't matter what jersey he wore. I live in Denver and I rock my hawk gear at work all the time

Jake Culbertson
Jake Culbertson

According to your story, he was fired for not coming back to work, not for the jersey he wore.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

LOL, I think you just told 2/3 of Denver to kill themselves.

Umm…having a dress code at work is neither discriminatory nor illegal. It's standard practice. The fact that he didn't return is NOT a moot point. It's the reason he was fired.

Show us the law that says you cannot be sent home to dress in the attire deemed acceptable by your employer.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

You go ahead and check back with us when it doesn't happen.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

A lot of people agree with you, Rob. Thanks for posting.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

Sounds like your boss is a lot more understanding than his was. Thanks for the post, James.

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