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Published on June 30th, 2011 | by Tim Clagg

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Red Bull Racing Employee Fired Over Anti-Gay Tweet

Red Bull Racing crew member Jeremy Fuller was terminated Tuesday from the team for posting an anti-gay Tweet over the weekend.

Fuller, a tire carrier with RBR, reportedly posted a picture on his Twitter page that showed the back of a car with a gay-pride sign. He added a caption under the picture reading “this is way (sic) I don’t live here!” Another post seemed to agree with one of his followers that it would be better to get rid of gays. The posts were later removed, and Fuller said the first post was a joke, and denied posting the second Tweet.

RBR took action Tuesday evening by terminating Fuller’s contract. Fuller also worked for Turner Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He is no longer listed with that team.

In a statement, the RBR said:

After investigating the matter, Red Bull Racing Team terminated the contractor’s employment effective immediately. The race team regularly conducts diversity training and strictly enforces our team policies against any form of discrimination. We have zero tolerance for such violations and in no way support any of the comments posted by this individual.

This news comes on the heels of the report that the team wouldn’t be returning to the Sprint Cup Series after this season. Since the initial report Jay Frye, Vice-President and General Manager for Red Bull Racing, said he was optimistic that he could line-up investors to keep the team moving forward for the 2012 season.

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5 Responses to Red Bull Racing Employee Fired Over Anti-Gay Tweet

  1. Jill Brogsman says:

    I cannot believe that he posted a comment like that on his twitter page! America is a free country, and people should be allowed to date who they want, even though it may cause controversy to other people.

    Great article!

  2. Anonymous says:

    If it’s a free country, shouldn’t he be able to think/say what he wants, even if it will “cause controversy to other people”? Boom. Roasted.

  3. Michael J Smith says:

    Thanks for the comment, Anon.

    He is free to think what he wants. But, when you post something on Twitter or say it in a public forum in which your affiliation with organizations is clearly stated, more times than not, you’ll find yourself fired if you share controversial opinions. I’m reminded of the employee with the Philadelphia Eagles who criticized the organization on Facebook for letting go of Brian Dawkins. He was fired. As an employee of an organization, if you criticize them publicly, you’ll most likely be fired, especially if you’re not essential. What the Eagles employee did was far less controversial than what the RBR employee did, so he should have known he would get fired.

  4. KnowTheTruthToday says:

    I hope he sues Red Bull and gets enough to retire on and they are fined severely for restricting his first amendment rights.

  5. Michael J Smith says:

    Unfortunately, he is highly unlikely to win a suit. In a previous article, I quoted Charles Craver, of George Washington Law School. He said that private sector employees don’t have any rights. They can be terminated for any legal reason (assuming there is no employment contract expressing otherwise). Illegal reasons include whistleblowing and discrimination (race, age, sex, disability, etc.). There was most likely a clause in his contract that stated he could be fired for actions detrimental to the team. To win a suit he would need to prove he was fired for an illegal reason, which doesn’t seem to fit here.

    In Korb v. Raytheon, a man sued the company for being fired, claiming that they violated his First Amendment rights. The court ruled that the man was free to speak out, and he had the right to disagree with Raytheon, but he did not have the right to do so at Raytheon’s expense. Because the man was an at-will employee, Raytheon had the right to terminate him with or without cause, so long as they did not violate public policy, which they did not. The same ruling would most likely apply here. Jeremy Fuller had the right to tweet what he did, but he didn’t have the right to do so at Red Bull Racing’s expense. By that I mean, he can’t do or say something that damages the reputation of his company and expect to keep his job. So, RBR was within their rights to terminate him as long as they did not violate public policy. In this case, they did not violate it.

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