It's not unusual to hear about workers who were penalized for their appearance. Workers have claimed to be fired for being too pretty, not attractive enough, and wearing the wrong clothes. And by most accounts, obesity discrimination is rampant. But Lenny Berry, a mascot for an English football team, has been forced to step down from the job he held for 20 years because he isn't fat enough, according to the Telegraph & Argus, a U.K. paper.
"I am absolutely gutted. I am a grown man. This is something I have cried over," the 59-year-old told the Bradford, England paper.
Berry, who played the character of the portly "City Gent" for the Bantams (also known as Bradford City), lost about 100 pounds from his 250-pound frame after being diagnosed with diabetes in 2006. Just recently, though, his bosses at Bradford City reportedly had asked him to wear a padded "Sumo-style" costume. Berry, a fan of the Bantams since the age of 7, said he seriously considered it. But he decided against it, he says, because he was told that "he would no longer be able to take part in charity events or give young mascots match-day tours if he did," The Telegraph & Argus reported.
Berry said his bosses had never made mention of his weight loss until recently. But his weight apparently was part of his act. Fans used to chant at him, "Who ate all the pies." And he'd play along. "I used to get them going and then grab my belly," he told the paper.
The club director said that it won't be replacing the City Gent as a mascot.