FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - Florence Freedom fans and their four-legged friends flooded Freedom Stadium Sunday for Bark in the Park, but they were met at the gate by one less ticket taker.
Veteran Tom Aue, 69, said he was let go by the franchise Saturday night for pausing his duties while the national anthem was played.
"The owner, who happened to be out there at the time, told us - me in particular - to continue to scan the tickets and I kind of just took my hat off, put it over my chest and offered him the scanner so he could continue to scan the tickets," said Aue.
Owner Clint Brown said it's a safety concern, a policy from the office of protocol to continue to take tickets during the anthem to cut down on long lines and potential dangers.
"We like the guy. We like the employee. We just try to make everybody happy and sometimes that is hard," claimed Brown.
He insisted Aue was never fired and offered him another position at another less crowded gate.
"How can you be unhappy with somebody who takes a stand on wanting to salute the flag? As a former military guy, I think that is exactly what he should be doing but the other side of the coin is the best business practice and the appropriate guideline for a business like ours to get a large crowd through a small hole pregame," stated Brown.
Aue said he won't be taking his job back at Florence Freedom, but the policy needs to change.
"I would like to see somebody use some common sense and show a little bit more respect for what the flag and the national anthem stand for."