So, you aas an entrepreneur want to get rich and own a pro sports franchise? Just ask Bob Young how that dream is working out for him after he no doubt has exercised every PR damage control method he ever learned in three decades as an entrepreneur.
A winless season for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Canadian Football League got even worse for the team and its owner – Young, who bought the franchise in 2003- on Monday and Tuesday.
Young, co-founder of Red Hat who also built self-publishing company Lulu and served as CEO of drone technology startup PrecisionHawk, issued an apology Tuesday to the CFL, fans and supporters of his Ti-Cats after hiring and then quickly un-hiring controversial former Baylor football coach Art Giles. Sports Illustrated has labeled Giles as a person “who doesn’t deserve a second chance.”
“After losing his job in the wake of the Baylor sexual assault scandal, Art Briles was, for a few hours on Monday, coaching via the CFL. To hire him is to declare that football means more than human life,” wrote SI’s Jon Taylor.
- VIDEO: Watch an interview with the Ti-Cats CEO about the controversy at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN3aPQmDWS4
Young and his Ti-Cat CEO Scott Mitchell were blind-sided by the outrage the hiring announced on Monday triggered. And Young threw himself on the mercy of those whom the hiring had offended.
“We made a large and serious mistake,” Young said in a statement posted on the team’s website.
“We want to apologize to our fans, corporate partners and the Canadian Football League. It has been a difficult season and we are searching for answers.
“This is clearly not one of them. We have listened, we are reviewing our decision-making processes and we will learn. We will go on.
“We want to thank our fans, partners and the CFL for their help and support.”
The Ti-Cats un-hired Briles after meeting with CFL officials.
“Art Briles will no longer be joining the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as a coach,” the CFL declared.
“We came to this decision this evening following a lengthy discussion between the league and the Hamilton organization. We wish Mr. Briles all the best in his future endeavors.”
To-Cat CEO Mitchell said the team “underestimated the tsunami of negativity that was going to happen” in an interview with The Fan590 radio station in Toronto.
Briles deserved a second chance, Briles said, but “I think it became clear this was not acceptable to people.”
He also said no one with the Ti-Cats was going to be fired over the decision.
If you were the owner of the Ti-Cats, what would you do?