49ers issue statement regarding dog abuse by Centerplate CEO, Desmond Hague

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Video has surfaced of Desmond Hague, CEO of Centerplate, repeatedly kicking a dog in an elevator. Centerplate provides concessions for Levi's Stadium, and the 49ers have issued a statement about the issue.

Fooch's Update: Centerplate has announced questionable discipline for Hague.

Over the weekend, some disturbing video popped up on the Internet. It featured the Desmond Hague CEO of Centerplate kicking a dog multiple times in an elevator. The video is awful to watch, so don't feel obligated to watch this retched human being kick and drag the dog. The video went viral on Monday and Tuesday, and naturally, all parties involved have gone into spin control.

Fooch's Note: Site decorum is off

For those wondering why I mention this here, Centerplate provides concessions for the San Francisco 49ers new stadium. They also provide concessions for the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park, and are among the biggest concessions companies in America. Most people don't think of the concessions company that handles food and beverages at their favorite stadiums, but companies like Centerplate, Aramark and Levy Restaurants are three of the biggest.

There has been an uproar over this, including from yours truly. The idea of kicking a dog, let alone doing it multiple times, is reprehensible. If you beat an animal, you're an awful human being. It's really not that complicated.

People have been tweeting at me, the 49ers, Levi's Stadium, and Jed York throughout the day. As Bay Area Sports Guy noted, a lot of these people are demanding Desmond Hague be fired immediately. There is talk of boycotting the food at Levi's Stadium if Centerplate does not do anything soon.

BASG pointed to a Forbes article about the issue, which included a statement from the 49ers. They said:

[The organization] condemns the abuse of animals and was disturbed to learn of the recent news regarding Des Hague. We believe his actions are not reflective of the efforts and service provided by the hundreds of Centerplate employees working to present our fans with a tremendous experience at Levi's Stadium."

I get that the 49ers will not just drop out of a contract with Centerplate because of this issue. I do think they and other venues that use Centerplate have the power to put some pressure on Centerplate. The organization announced on Twitter it was reviewing the situation. Since then, BASG received a statement from Centerplate's PR firm. You can read the whole thing at the bottom of this article. They said the company is conducting an internal review, and that Hague is attending counseling for his anger management issues. He also has "pledged a significant, personal, multi-year financial commitment to help support the protection and safety of animals."

That's an interesting statement to say the least. On Twitter, I had suggested that in lieu of firing Hague, one option would be to put him on leave without pay and donate that money to the Humane Society or some other group. Additionally, it would make sense to require him volunteer with one of these groups, extensively. I don't know what they are legally allowed to do in that regard, but that was one thought.

The question now is how this moves forward. Pressure needs to be brought to bear on Centerplate. This goes beyond kicking the dog in the elevator. As despicable as that is, it would actually appear to be part of a pattern of reprehensible behavior by Hague. This article seems to indicate he was involved in more than just this incident. It is despicable.

Hague has since issued a statement that would be funny if it weren't so disgusting:

"I take full responsibility for my actions," he said. "This incident is completely and utterly out of character and I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed. Under the circumstances of the evening in question, a minor frustration with a friend's pet caused me to lose control of my emotional response. Unfortunately, I acted inappropriately, and I am deeply sorry for that and am very grateful that no harm was caused to the animal."

He is grateful "no harm was caused to the animal". Apparently, any mental damage is not an issue for this awful human being. I doubt he would say there was no damage if I gave him a few kicks to the gut and dragged him around by the neck. This is not a man who is embarrassed about what he did. He is a man who is embarrassed he got caught. And now with this "financial commitment", I can only assume he thinks he can buy his way out of this. Hopefully criminal charges will be filed.

Until Centerplate does something significant, pressure must be brought to bear. There are a variety of things you can do:

1. Bring your own food to venues serviced by Centerplate. This is not entirely fair to their employees, who potentially could deal with shifts being cut if not enough food is going out. I recognize this, but a statement needs to be made. And ideally it would be quick enough to force a fast change.

You can bring in food to Levi's Stadium using a bag that follows the rules of the NFL bag policy. The 49ers will bear some of the brunt as well given their split of concession revenue, but I think they can afford to take a minor hit in the name of getting serious discipline of Desmond Hague.

The Centerplate website is up, but the list of venue partners appears down. For now, Deadspin came up with a list of some of their venues.

  • Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara
  • Notre Dame
  • Tropicana Field, Tampa
  • Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
  • Fedex Field, Washington, DC
  • Colonial Life Arena At the University of South Carolina
  • KFC Yum! Center (University of Louisville)
  • Safeco Field, Seattle
  • AT&T Park, San Francisco
  • The Superdome, New Orleans
  • Belmont Park, New York
  • Sun Life Stadium, Miami
  • Durham Bulls

2. You can contact Centerplate through various means:

Twitter: @centerplate
Phone: 800.578.7378
Email: comments@centerplate.com
Address:
2187 Atlantic Street
Stamford, CT 06902

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