… and a succubus hits Satan in the face with a snowball.
The Stroll In bar in Kennedy Township that was discounting their beer each time the Pirates lost became the subject of a boycott by two Pirates employees and their friends and/or families.
The sign said, “When the Pirates lose, you win,” and that didn’t sit right with a Pirate employee Angela Criscella who made the poor decision along with another employee to use her Pirates.com email addy to write an email to suggest a boycott of the place because it wasn’t supporting the home team. Reportedly they sent it to “family and friends.”
The Pirates issued a statement saying they weren’t aware of the employee boycott, but that they couldn’t fault their employees for choosing to not patronize an establishment that they viewed was rooting against the team.
The bar owner says she didn’t mean it as rooting against the team, but more as a consolation prize.
The bar owner contacted the Pirates after hearing about the boycott and asked them to explain their stance on the issue.
Pirates spokesman Brian Warecki said the team was unaware the employees were urging a boycott, but he said they are “free to share with their friends their feelings about an establishment that would root against its home team.”
Frank Coonelly himself called the bar owner and, according to Deadspin, “Of course, the Pirates being the secretly rich pricks that they are, team president Frank Coonelly called the bar’s owner to say he wasn’t calling off the boycott.”
So you’ve got Deadspin frothing at the mouth and that makes fans who only read Deadspin’s take on this frothing at the mouth. There’s lots of blog posts and twitter posts out there basically all, “FRANK COONELLY ORGANIZED A BOYCOTT!” You’ve got the bar owner initially believing the Pirates are behind the boycott, rather than it just being two employees who took it upon themselves.
The actual statement from the Pirates:
The bar owner Estelle Aversa asked through our customer service email that someone contact her to explain our position on the issue. As the President of the club, Frank wanted to reach out directly to her to make clear to her that the Pirates were in no way, shape or form behind any boycott of her establishment. He explained that your media inquiry was the first the organization heard of the promotional idea or that two of our employees sent personal emails to their friends and family on the topic. While the use of a company email account was regrettable in this case, he also discussed the fact that our employees, like everyone else, are free to decide the establishments to which they wish to give their business and free to share those feelings with their personal contacts.
Again, the most important thing to make clear is that Pirates organization was in no way, shape or form actively behind or supporting the email push to boycott the establishment.
Yuengling is a valued partner with the Pirates and we are well aware that they were not behind the idea of the promotion that would be perceived by some as rooting against the home town team. I think it is important to also point out that the employees involved were reminded of our policy that the use of company email for personal matters such as this is against company policy. That is in place for situations like this when the actions of an employee can be misrepresented as representing the Pirates organization as whole.
1. I agree the promotion was harmless and all in good fun; I can also see how sensitive Pirates employees could view it as rooting for the team to lose.
2. Those screaming about it being “executives,” please take a look at the Pirates front office staff listing and without using your search function, find Angela on the list. Yeah, she’s a group sales account executive. One of ten. One of thirty in the entire organization with that title. She’s not an executive meaning CAPITAL E executive. She’s an account executive. Not even a senior one at that.
3. It wasn’t the brightest thing to do and yeah, definitely a bit oversensitive, but this being America the two Pirates’ employees had a right to ask their family and friends to boycott the place, but they never should have done it using their Pirates email addresses because that gets the Pirates organization involved.
The same way that Rashard tweeting very questionable opinions from a verified account ended up getting the Steelers involved. Just because you have the RIGHT to say something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I have knowledge of this; I was fired for blogging, remember? I had a right to do it; I lived with the repercussions. I still am living with them, but that’s another blog post.
4. What would Deadspin and those of you who are freaking out at the Pirates like Frank Coonelly to do? Call the owner and say, “I apologize. I will tell my employees and their friends and families that they are not permitted to NOT eat at your establishment?” He can’t do that. All he can say is, “This isn’t coming from the Pirates organization. This is employees doing what they have the right to do and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it except fire them and then get the free speech people all over my ass and I’ll just have to hire them back like I did that pierogie dude who insulted us on his private facebook page. The most I can do is reprimand them for using their professional email account to conduct private matters.”
5. All fault for this becoming news lies with the two employees who apparently are very sensitive to the Pirates being the butt of jokes, not the Pirates organization.
Now, I’m very curious to hear your thoughts because I can’t seem to find anyone who has taken my view on this. I’m asking you to show me the error of my thinking here, because I feel like I’m missing something. Like maybe I should instead be writing a frothing-at-the-mouth rant to Frank Coonelly all “BALLS ON A STICK.”
Either way, [high-five] to the Stroll Inn for all this free publicity!