Thunder employee fired for video
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City Thunder employee landed in hot water over a YouTube post.
Brent Byers thought a rap video would be a great way to show his love for the team; now he’s been fired over the effort.
The video is called “Thunder Your Butts Off.”
At the beginning of the video, Byers admitted he could get in trouble, so he put on a mask for the song.
His day job is working as an electrician.
It pays the bills but his passion was with his second job; Brent worked as a Thunder “storm chaser.”
He would throw t-shirts to fans, dunk basketballs during time-outs and get the crowd pumped up.
“Best job I ever had!” he said. “I get paid to go to the games, have a great time.”
As a Thunder employee, he had to sign a contract that restricted what he said about the team in public.
“Like, I couldn’t say, ‘Kevin Durant played awful tonight,’” Byers said. “I didn’t know that making a video was going to do this.”
In the rap video, Byers and a friend say, “Serge Ibaka comin’ straight out the Congo. Send your shot away like telegram from Mongo. Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thunder, Thunder your butts off!”
It was posted Saturday morning.
Byers was suspended that very night and fired by the Thunder two days later.
They also asked him to take the video off YouTube. He did not.
“No, not a chance,” Byers said. “I mean, who would do that? Who’s going to get fired and then say, ‘Oh, yeah OK, I’ll take it down.’ That makes sense.”
Wesley Williams, who served in the Army National Guard with Byers, said Byers is just a passionate guy who loves Oklahoma so much he got a state tattoo covering his entire back.
“(The video) was a positive, I thought,” Byers said. “Why get rid of one of your best workers for a positive thing?”
While disappointed he was fired, Byers said he does not want the publicity to reflect negatively on his beloved Thunder.
“People are saying they’re going to boycott the games and not do this and not do that, and I really don’t want that,” he said. “Everybody should go, everybody should watch the team.”
The Thunder does not comment on personnel matters, but News Channel 4 learned they did not have a problem with the content of video.
They have specific rules for even part-time employees who represent the team in public, including social media, and he broke the rules.
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