Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Tacoma, Wash. (KING) -- Nathaniel Wentz has football in his blood. He and his dad have
bonded over the victories and heartbreaks on the gridiron since
Nathaniel was just 3 years old.
"I'm a die hard," said Nathaniel.
"We're very passionate about it," added his father, Randall.
On Sunday those passions were tested when Nathaniel was told to go
home and change his shirt after coming to work in a Denver Broncos
jersey. He says the manager at the Odyssey 1 family entertainment center
in Tacoma invited employees to wear jerseys to work on gameday to show
off their team spirit.
Apparently, however, he only meant Seattle Seahawks
"I thought, 'Wow. Really?'" said the elder Wentz.
The father says he asked to talk to the owner, who didn't call back, so
Nathaniel stayed home. The next day he found out he had been fired.
"It was all about 'You can't represent your team.' There's something wrong with that," said Nathaniel.
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.
"It's a petty move on the part of the employer," said staunch
Seahawks fan Patrick Leo McGuigan of HKM Employment Attorneys in
Seattle. But even he says employers do have the right to restrict what
"An employer has a common law right to terminate for no cause,
good cause or a cause that's morally wrong, as the courts like to point
Even in a city awash in Seahawks blue, however, Nathaniel 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!"
Management at Odyssey 1 refused to talk about the situation on the record Tuesday.
As for Nathaniel, he lost his job, but he says at least he won't have to worry about working on Super Bowl Sunday.
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