Fired Chicago-area car salesman refuses offer to return

A Chicago-area car salesman who was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work Monday has been offered his old job back, the *Chicago Tribune* reported Wednesday.

But John Stone told the newspaper he won't return to Webb Chevrolet in suburban Oak Lawn, Ill.

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"I'm not going," he said.

Jerry Roberts, Webb's general manager, told the Tribune he has received "tons" of calls from Bears fans supporting his decision to fire Stone, but numerous Packers fans also called to say they want him to rehire the salesman so they can buy a car from him.

Roberts, who believed Stone was trying to antagonize co-workers and customers by wearing the Packers tie after Green Bay defeated Chicago one day earlier in the NFC Championship Game, said his dealership and the Bears radio network have been promotional partners for years.

"If he would have worn the Packers tie on Saturday or the day before the Super Bowl, it would have been construed very differently," said Roberts, adding he told Stone five times to remove the tie before firing him.

Stone told the newspaper he wore the tie as a tribute to his recently deceased grandmother, who was a big Packers fan.

Meanwhile, Stone has another job offer to weigh -- from Chevrolet of Homewood, another Chicago suburb.

"Good salesmen are so hard to find," said Guy Cesario, the rival dealer's general manager. "To put somebody's livelihood in jeopardy because of a tie is just idiotic."

On Tuesday, Stone said on the "Dan Patrick Show" that if he had to do it all over, he wouldn't have worn the tie.

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