Washington teen Nathaniel Wentz fired after wearing Denver Broncos jersey to work

9:56 AM, Jan 22, 2014   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
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 jerseys.

"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 you wear. 

"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 out."

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.

You may also like... 

Weird Florida: A look back at some of the strangest stories of the year

Miracle Baby: Tampa toddler has 5-organ transplant

Broke Bad: Contest winner busted in synthetic drug ring

Here kitty, kitty: Lion escapes enclosure at Pasco sanctuary

Fake Cop: Man arrested 3 times for impersonating officer

Animal tragedy: Girl's miniature horse attacked by dogs

#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights

Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children

Popular photo galleries:

Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers

Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos 

Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant

Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***

Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole

Popular Databases:

Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here

Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here


Most Watched Videos