Monthly Archives: March 2009

Facebook Firing

“Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver. . .Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”

Dan Leone is a former employee of the Eagles that posted a negative view of the Eagle's not resigning Brian Dawkins on his Facebook page.

Dan Leone is a former employee of the Eagles that posted a negative view of the Eagle's not resigning Brian Dawkins on his Facebook page.

That was Dan Leone’s Facebook status after finding out his favorite team and employer, the Philadelphia Eagles, had not re-signed defensive back Brian Dawkins. 

Hours later, Dan was unemployed.

When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. The Eagles are really going to fire someone over their Facebook status? Give me a break. But then I thought about it from a different perspective. If I went into my boss’ office, told him I didn’t like what he was doing, then called him a retard, I’m fairly confident that would end my tenure with that company. 

So why do so many Americans think Dan Leone is being treated unfairly

I don’t have an answer for that, but I do understand why Leone is no longer employed. 

In the culture we live in today, social media networks play an enormous role in our decision making process. If I am running a business, I can’t have my employees talking about how “retarded” I am and how he doesn’t agree with what I am doing. It shows a lack of unification, instability and creates a bad PR image with the public. 

I’m sure Dan Leone meant no real harm in posting his Facebook status, and he has apologized over and over for his actions, but I think Mr. Leone needs to realize when he has made a career ending mistake and stop complaining about his unemployment status. 

For the full details on his Dan’s firing, check out this interview on

Dan, my suggestion to you is to stop bad mouthing your “favorite” team, own up to the fact that you committed career suicide (if you want to call working the gate at Lincoln Financial Field a career) and keep your Facebook status to things like, “Dan is at the grocery store,” or, “Dan is looking for a job.”


PRison Release

michael_vickIn 2001, the Atlanta Falcons made history by selecting Michael Vick as the number one overall pick in the NFL draft. The first African American quarterback to do so. He was the most electrifying player the league had ever seen. In his first five seasons, Vick set numerous records, including the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season (1,039 in 2006), highest average per carry in a single season (8.45 in 2006), 100-yard career rushing games by a quarterback (eight), best two-game rushing total (225 in 2004) and rushing yards in a single game (173 in 2002).

 To the fans in Atlanta, Vick was a savior. He was now the face of their franchise and was poised to take them to the Super Bowl for the first time in the team’s history.

Unfortunately, Vick’s legal troubles and bad PR began a tailspin that would ultimately land Atlanta’s savior bankrupt, and in prison.

After Vick’s indictment, his family, friends, teammates, sponsors, the NFL and the city of Atlanta were under fire for “supporting” a soon-to-be felon. All of these entities said exactly what the public wanted to hear (good PR). 

“We are disappointed that Michael Vick has put himself in a position where a federal grand jury has returned an indictment against him,” the NFL said in a written statement. “We will continue to closely monitor developments in this case, and to cooperate with law enforcement authorities. The activities alleged are cruel, degrading and illegal. Michael Vick’s guilt has not yet been proven, and we believe that all concerned should allow the legal process to determine the facts.”

Eventually the lies caught up to Vick and the verdict was in. The most electrifying athlete in sports will be making 12 cents an hour for the next 23 months, in a federal prison, performing manual labor tasks. 

Animal rights organizations were calling for his head, sponsors dropped him, and the NFL suspended him indefinitely.

Now it is time for Vick to start cleaning up his mess. Arguably the most daunting public relations task there is; Rebuilding relationships. Once a player breaks the trust he or she has established with the public, it is nearly impossible to regain it, but if Vick ever wants to play football again, he’s going to have to try. 

Vick has now served 19 of the 23 months he was sentenced, and will be allowed to serve the last two months of his sentence under home confinement.

When Vick is released in July, will any teams be interested in signing him? here is what’s, Michael Smith, has to say.

If you were the owner of an NFL team, would you want Vick on your team? Sure, he is a premier athlete (assuming he has stayed in “football” shape while in prison), and he could probably help your team win a few games, but is it worth the PR nightmare that would surely follow? 

Many people are going to argue that Vick has paid his debt to society and that he deserves a second chance. Others think that what he did is inexcusable and he should not be allowed to play in the NFL ever again. 

So the question is, what is a better PR move for your organization? Do you let Vick prove he has changed, give him a second chance and see what happens? Or do you not want your organization linked to a convicted felon? 

These are the questions that team owners are going to have to answer if/when NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, reinstates Michael Vick into the league, and you can be assured that the decision the owners make (whether for or against Vick) will be met by an uproar from the media, niche organizations and fans.