Apparently, the Philadelphia Eagles organization is trying to one-up their fans for the title of “Worst People in the World (Non-Soccer Hooligan Division).” Not only did they cold-heartedly let Brian Dawkins leave for the Denver Broncos despite his apparent desire to finish his career with the team, but now they are bringing down their wrath on anyone who dares to question the decision.
Witness the case of Dan Leone. The lifelong Eagles fan finally achieved his dream of working for the team when Lincoln Financial Field opened up a few years ago. But the PHILADELPHIA INQURIER says that one moment of anger at the team for letting Dawkins go has led to his immediate termination. His crime? Putting this message on his Facebook account:
“Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”
Now, is it smart for an employee of a team to be calling the team retarded? No. But I’d hardly call it grounds for termination, either, especially when you hear Leone’s story. A big-time Eagles fan, he achieved a lifelong dream six years ago when he was hired to be a gate chief at the new Lincoln Financial Field, a job he did well and without complaint despite suffering a neurological condition called transverse myelitis that was so painful that he sometimes had to work in a wheelchair.
The Eagles should be promoting him as an example of a loyal fan. Instead, they gave him the boot, and in a rather unseemly way. Instead of being given a warning, or even a suspension, he was simply dropped in a short phone call, without being given a chance to apologize or give his side of the story. The only comment the Eagles would give is that Leone “was a seasonal game-day employee and not a full-time member of the Eagles staff,” which apparently makes it OK to treat him like dirt.
If this happened to me, I’d be burning my Eagles paraphernalia on my front lawn and casting a curse on anyone involved with the team. But Leone is so heartbroken that he’d be willing to let bygones be bygones if he could just get his old job back:
“If they called me right now and told me to come back to work, I would,” Leone said. “I’m not holding any grudges. I just want to do my job.”
Is this worse than the fans booing Santa Claus, or cheering when Michael Irvin went down with a neck injury? I’ll let you guys decide that.