According to John Stone, the unfortunate victim in this bizarre story, he wore the tie out of respect for his 91-year-old grandmother, a devout Packers fan who had passed away just two days before the team's NFC Championship game against the Chicago Bears.
"I didn't know you could get fired for wearing a tie," said Stone to the Chicago Tribune. "I'm supposed to dress up. I'm a car salesman."
The Chicago Tribune reports that when Stone arrived at Webb Chevrolet, the dealership where he worked, manager Jerry Roberts called him into his office and threatened to fire him unless he took off the tie. Thinking it was a joke, Stone simply went back to work. An hour later, however, he was called into Roberts' office and was once again ordered to take off the tie. After he refused, Stone was fired.
Roberts contends that since the dealership had recently run several promotions with the Chicago Bears, an employee showing support for another team conflicted with its interests. "I don't feel that it was appropriate for him to go directly in contrast with an advertising campaign that we spent a lot of money on," said Roberts to WGN reporter Judie Garcia.