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Despite semantics, Pete Russell was still fired

Our friend Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill Herald and the Charlotte Observer has taken issue, sort of, with our report regarding the termination of Panthers scout Pete Russell.

Writes Gantt, “Despite a report this afternoon that the Panthers fired scout Pete Russell, the reality isn’t nearly as sensational as it sounds.”

The reality is that the Panthers told Russell his contract won’t be renewed.  That’s a very polite way of pulling a Donald Trump.  Either way, the Panthers have fired Russell.

(And if G.M. Marty Hurney’s contract isn’t renewed, the headline definitely will be that he was fired.)

Regarding the scuttlebutt that the Panthers plan to go younger in the scouting department, Gantt points out that Russell is 45 (five years over the legally protected threshold), and that three older scouts remain on the payroll.  But none of that matters if the Panthers “go younger” with Russell’s replacement, especially if the evidence otherwise supports that the Panthers have indeed opted to consciously commence the process of swapping out older scouts for younger ones.

Every company that ever is sued for age discrimination points to every other employee on the payroll who is 40 or over as proof that there’s no age bias.  It doesn’t matter.  If the decision to fire the plaintiff was motivated in whole or in part by age, and if the replacement is substantially younger, liability potentially attaches to the move.

Most glaringly, Gantt’s article overlooks the fact that the Panthers squatted on Russell for a full month after the draft, which as a practical matter makes it harder for him to get a job elsewhere. 

Bottom line?  There really wasn’t anything for Gantt to clear up.  The differences come only from semantics.

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7 Responses to “Despite semantics, Pete Russell was still fired”
  1. Thor says: May 27, 2010 8:12 PM

    I thought you were a lawyer, Florio. If he had a contract and it ran through X date (most likely 5/31) and they simply let it expire on that date, then how is there a problem. I don’t care if they hire a 19 year old with DD tits to replace him. If he had a contract, there is no discrimination.

  2. sml1950 says: May 27, 2010 8:16 PM

    You probably need to recheck whoever your source is with the Panthers since you’ve now been called on the Smith and Russell stories.
    You idiotic spiel on labor law doesn’t apply to expired contracts and furthermore would ruin the league if teams weren’t allowed to cut players under contract because of age(which EVERY team does). Didn’t your source tell you that Russell was told that his contract wasn’t going to be renewed and he was free to look for another job after the draft.

  3. vxcee says: May 27, 2010 8:22 PM

    there are 3 other scouts the same age or older as russell, his contract was up and they made a decision not to renew
    why is this a thing
    this is not a thing

  4. robert ethen says: May 27, 2010 8:26 PM

    The word “fired” never came up. If Mr Russell chose to construe the changing of the lock on his office door, and the fact that his personal belongings were packed in boxes on the street as being fired, that is his version.

  5. GatorBait says: May 27, 2010 8:33 PM

    Since when does Florio take up for a scout with multiple articles? Unless this paticular scout is his “source” for the whole Steve Smith called Claussen a punk an mess.

  6. Ray Black says: May 27, 2010 8:41 PM

    Very true, Thor. Also, the original post was called “Panthers purge long-time scout Pete Russell”, and it claimed there was some age discrimination, which doesn’t jive with ANY of the facts.
    They hired him three years ago. That’s not really a “long-time” position, even in the NFL. So he was 42 when he signed his contract, and he’ll be 45 when his contract ends. They just aren’t extending it.
    One again, Florio goes with a “news” story that lacks any sources or reasonable reading of the facts, and he gets his ass handed to him.

  7. ProDarter says: May 29, 2010 4:41 PM

    Apparently Florio went to law school on some Caribbean island.

    Most glaringly, Gantt’s article overlooks the fact that the Panthers squatted on Russell for a full month after the draft, which as a practical matter makes it harder for him to get a job elsewhere.

    ALL, of the Panthers contracts run from June 1 to May 31. Get your head out of your ass and do some research before you spew out the tripe.
    And by the way, “scuttlebutt” isn’t a “realiable source”, you moron.

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