On Monday, my Twitter feed exploded with people talking about the Rocketown situation.
Rocketown is a music venue/skate park in Nashville, Tenn. The facility was founded with the intentions of it being a safe and alcohol-free area for teenagers and young adults to hang out. Founder Michael W. Smith considers the venue a Christian facility.
Wes Breedwell, a seven-year employee of Rocketown, was fired — allegedly for wearing a Hostage Claim band T-shirt that reads “I Support Same-Sex Marriage.”
Breedwell took to social media. He wrote, “Got fired from Rocketown today. Social media is what did it. So, here is a picture to show my support for equality and free speech, including social media.”
He accompanied this with a picture of him wearing the Hostage Claim shirt.
I was wondering why so many artists were saying they would no longer play the venue until I scrolled farther down and read the story that so many music networks were writing about.
Rocketown released a statement that didn’t clearly state why Breedwell was fired. It just said that they do not fire employees for expressing their opinions on marriage and are accepting of all children regardless of sexual orientation.
This contradicts a statement Hostage Claim released, saying they talked to Breedwell and he said he was often chastised for not having the same views that the venue promoted. He also said employees wear band attire all the time to work, and it just so happened he was fired the day he wore that particular T-shirt.
A picture of the incident report was attached, and if this is a valid document, wearing the shirt was indeed the reason for Breedwell’s termination.
Some have said that Breedwell was fired for liking something on Facebook that the venue didn’t agree with.
Now, I am not one to jump to conclusions, but for the sake of argument, let’s jump the gun and say Breedwell was fired for the statement the band T-shirt made.
I would agree with the bands who blew up Twitter on this one. I don’t think anyone should be discriminated against for the person they choose to love, and I especially don’t think anyone should be fired for stating this.
Our own president of the United States has taken this stance.
If anything, it is important for anyone to make statements and stand up for what he or she believes in, as well as respect another’s decision to disagree.
There is a lot of discussion on whether or not people of high caliber, such as musicians and actors, should voice their opinions on such matters. But these are the people who we put on a pedestal. These are the people generations behind us are looking up to. We are giving them the power to change the world, so we should let them.
And that is what they did. Man Overboard in the midst of their Winter Tour announced they would be switching concert venues for their Nashville date, and will no longer play Rocketown. Members stated via Facebook that they are working to find a “hate-free” venue.
With more than 1,000 Twitter followers, Breedwell is a local celebrity, as many kids who frequent the scene would know him. If he wants to express his opinions, he should.
The lack of Rocketown releasing more of a statement and Breedwell being unable to comment leans me to believe that this is why he was fired. But who am I to speculate?
However, if Breedwell was fired for Facebook activity, it’s not really anything to get our panties in a twist about.
As much as I think people should be able to voice their opinions and like what they like without professional interference, employers check Facebook. If this is what happened, Rocketown did what a lot of major corporations and many other employers do.
The future of Rocketown looks a lot less rock ‘n’ roll, and if I were them, I’d jump at the opportunity to clear the name.