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Seattle-area teen says he lost his job for wearing Broncos jersey Sunday

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Seattle-area teen Nathaniel Wentz, right, says he was fired for wearing his Broncos jersey.

Seattle-area teen Nathaniel Wentz, right, says he was fired for wearing his Broncos jersey.

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.”


  • A no

    Discriminatory! If you send someone Home they do not have to return!!! You sent them home. It was a management decision and a poor one at that!

  • Keven Kuzara

    Generally i would support this young man, but the company has in place that employees are to wear their regular uniforms or a Seahawk Jersey on Game Days. He made the decision to not return to work, therefore it was a justifiable termination. GO BRONCOS.

  • Ben Abeyta

    Keven, I can see your argument but it isn’t terribly valid. The truth is that if you are going to allow the jerseys of one team in place of the regular uniforms, then you should allow the jerseys of all teams. To do otherwise is discriminatory. I know, but it doesn’t have to do with race, gender, sexual preference, etc. The truth is, if you have fans of multiple teams (as all areas do) you will have to allow everyone an equal chance to show support for their team the way you allow fans of the local team. It’s just fair.

  • Jodi Allen

    Wow classy place that Seattle is turning out to be from players to food throwing fans to being told you can’t wear a jersey supporting any team but the Seahawks……….sad

  • Tommy Michaels

    sorry Ben but what you “should” do and what you “can” do are two totally different things. Should the owner allow employees to wear whatever sports jersey they want – probably. Does he have to – no. The rules were clearly stated and the employee chose to disregard them. Therefore it is perfectly “valid” to have fired the employee seeing as he chose not to return to work. And to say this was discriminatory is ridiculous.

  • Jessamyne

    Until an excerpt from the employee manual or SOP is published that clearly defines “company policy” regarding the wearing of Seahawks jersey in lieu of the standard uniform, I think Odyssey 1 is in the wrong. Hiring someone under the age of majority, carries with it some inherent risks. In this case, the company would have done well to speak with the father who attempted to make contact or arranged to meet him in person to discuss the situation. However, we now live in a society where very few people “communicate” and are quick to contact lawyers and the media. Gone are the days of witch hunts folks…let’s get all the facts first. And let us remember that the media operates in a manner of trying to break the story first, as we saw in the KTVU Bay Area News report regarding the made up names of the flight crew on Asiana flight 214.

  • tee

    Real simple, go home, change your shirt, keep your job!!! wouldn’t be any different if someone wore a Patriots jersey where I work, he chose not to go back, job abandonment!!

  • Peter

    He was fired for not returning to work, read the article people and pay attention to what you read! WORDS HAVE MEANING!

  • Fast45

    Maybe on his next job, he will have a higher understanding of who is the boss, and who is the employee … and follow that business’s dress code. He sounds like a smart teenager. He will learn from this.

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