Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Real Class Act

Dan Leone, or as I'm calling him the voice of his generation, worked for the Eagles for 6 years and was a passionate fan.  He grew up just blocks away from Veterans Stadium and as a kid he would walk over and watch his favorite team practice and play games.  When the new stadium opened he rushed to apply for any kind of a job and when he got one he was so excited he called all of his friends and family, it was almost a dream come true.

On Monday the Philadelphia Eagles fired Dan Leone, game-day stadium employee at Lincoln Financial Field, when his Facebook status was updated to, "Dan is [F'en] devastated about [Brian] Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted."  By the way I love the incorrect spelling of "retarded."

This to me is the biggest dick move ever by an organization.   So the guy who works one of the gate entrances to the stadium isn't a fan of all the off-season moves the franchise has been making who gives a shit?  That's no reason to fire the man.  It's not as if he directly represents the organization or that his views were released to the media.  The guy doesn't even have any affiliation to the Eagles for the months the team isn't playing football.  Hell he doesn't even work for them when they have away games.

"I shouldn't have put it up there," Leone said. "I was ticked off, and I let my emotions go, but I didn't offend any one person or target a specific individual. I was just upset that we lost such a great guy. Dawkins was one of my favorite players. I made a mistake."

If it were me I wouldn't have apologized at all.  The fact the guy did this shows he is a real class act and makes the team look like even bigger assholes.  What happened to freedom of speech?  How can a team fire an employee for changing his status on a social networking site?  It just doesn't seem right.

What intrigues me the most about this story though is how did they find out in the first place.  I highly doubt the Philadelphia Eagles have a team devoted to tracking the Facebook status of their employees.  So did someone within the organization rat him out and if so can this person be found and kicked in the junk?  I am at a loss as to who would find this so damaging that they would need to bring it to the attention of a higher up.

To make matters worse upon further reading I discovered that Leone suffers from a neurological disorder called transverse myelitis. Because it causes muscle fatigue and limits the range of motion in his limbs, Leone was sometimes forced to use crutches as a child.  This is the man that they fired for a Facebook status update.  A lifelong, die hard, and physically impaired fan who when he first got this job said "I was so proud to work for them. It was my dream."

You stay classy Philly.

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