By Kevin Flanagan
BSD Senior Staff Writer
This would be laughable if it wasn’t so intolerably insensitive.
In a statement issued earlier this afternoon, the TD Garden announced the following.
“Effective April 1, 2020, 68 of our full-time salaried associates will be placed on temporary leave, receiving one week of paid leave and eight weeks of full benefits. Additionally, as of April 1, 2020, 82 of our full-time salaried associates will receive an indefinite salary reduction. Those associates not impacted by the temporary leave or salary reduction have employment contracts.”
This announcement comes less than 24 hours since the Boston Herald reported that the ushers in the building that is the home of both the Bruins and the Celtics – along with concerts, college graduations, and many other events – gave the folks who for the almost on the whole use this additional income to help ends meet their pink slip via a letter.
“A letter sent to ushers and obtained by the Herald was titled “Operational Impact of Coronavirus,” and said workers “will not be scheduled until the conditions at our unit allows us to resume normal operations. As this situation is rapidly evolving, we will continue to update you with the anticipated date that we will resume business. We hope to provide as much notice as possible.”
The note goes on to state employees may be eligible for unemployment and they hoped the changes would be ‘short-lived.'”
In a Twitter post that has since been deleted an assumed employee of the Garden said that they heard the news of their fate in a pre-recorded message.
And that surprises you how?
In the nearly half-century of their ownership of the Bruins and the old and new Garden, the Jacobs family – which is led by patriarch Jeremy and supposedly run now by son Charlie – has rightfully earned the reputation of operating on the cheap whenever possible.
For years their miserly ways were in lockstep with longtime general manager Harry Sinden who had the gonads to take Hall of Famer Raymond Bourque to arbitration when he was one of – if not the best – defensemen in the game from the late 1970s to the early 2000s.
Along with the money that the family has made with their ownership of concession giant Delaware North, JJ’s net worth is currently estimated at $3.1 billion.
That’s BILLION WITH A CAPITAL FREAKING “B”.
And while this cold and calculating – not to mention ruthless and heartless – penny-pinching prick has no problem with the fact it costs close to a mortgage payment to attend a Bruins game with your family at the TD Garden, his $10-plus draft beers, nearly $5 bottled waters, and $5 sodas – which is price gouging at it’s most absurd extreme – still hasn’t provided enough extra cash to help out those who shortly won’t know where the money for their next meal for their family is coming from, never mind their rent or mortgage.
Nevertheless, as they coldly stated in their press release this afternoon – even though the verbiage is such that they can deny it – those who have the gold make the rules.
“As relayed to our associates today, none of these decisions were reached without difficult and painful deliberations. These measures are intended to be temporary with associate employment and compensation returning once our business resumes to its normal state from this unprecedented stoppage.”
Loose translation – let them eat cake.
For as much as I have and will continue to praise the character and dignity of the hockey community as a whole, it is with even deeper disgust that I will look at the Bruins ownership – and for that fact, the NHL leadership – going forward.
Jeremy Jacobs is the Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, and now has proven to be an unforgettable stain on one the greatest games in professional sports.
Follow on Twitter @KevinMFlanagan. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.