An employee for a Cincinnati, Ohio, area minor league baseball team claims that he was fired for putting a halt to his work when the National Anthem began playing.
Tom Aue, a 69-year-old military veteran, says that he was fired for taking a few minutes away from taking tickets at the Florence Freedom front gate when the National Anthem was played at the beginning of games.
“The owner, who happened to be out there at the time, told us– me in particular–to continue to scan the tickets and I kind of just took my hat off, put it over my chest and offered him the scanner so he could continue to scan the tickets,” Aue told Cincinnati’s Fox 19.
Owner Clint Brown, though, defended his actions saying that it was a “safety concern” to continue ticket taking during the anthem.
Brown also said that Aue was never fired and was offered a different position at the ballpark.
“We like the guy. We like the employee. We just try to make everybody happy and sometimes that is hard,” Brown insisted.
Brown also said that he could never be “unhappy” over “somebody who takes a stand on wanting to salute the flag.” Still, Brown defended his business decision on how to handle the gate.
But the team owner is quite incensed at claims that he fired the elderly veteran.
“I’m not just gonna stand here and take this. We did not do anything wrong,” Brown said while defending his practices.
Brown also criticized the employee’s daughter for launching a “Facebook smear campaign” and distorting the incident.
“Frankly, this is not a case of an organization usurping an employee’s right to honor America during the anthem,” Brown said. “We were prepared to accommodate him by moving him to another gate so he could do what he pleased”
As for Mr. Aue, he said he isn’t going to take another position at the ballpark and he still has criticism for the gate practice.
“I would like to see somebody use some common sense and show a little bit more respect for what the flag and the national anthem stand for,” Aue concluded.
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