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the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite major challenges and immense pressure, they continued to lead with purpose and the vision to make significant contributions to their industries, communities, workforces and the economy.” Allen praised his employees, saying, “On behalf of the

40,000+ team members at Seminole Hard Rock, we are humbled to be the first gaming company awarded the US Best Managed Company designation and to be recognized alongside so many outstanding privately-held businesses…Our team members all contribute to the success of our organization…” The good news is that Hard Rock’s workforce has not fallen prey to the social media crowd’s pervasive “cancel culture” that has impacted many American institutions. These people, occasionally company insiders, consider themselves the ultimate arbiter of enlightenment, acceptable thinking and “wokeness.” Get on their wrong side and face personal and/or

professional devastation. The economic, emotional or health threat to one’s livelihood or personal life is no joke. The staggering examples cross into many industries, including entertainment, publishing and academia. Even a “Jeopardy” game show contestant’s celebratory gesture was bashed. However, all is fine and forgiven with the “correct”

viewpoint. Many renowned companies’ leadership has groveled or caved in to their own employees who often represent only a small percentage of their workforce. If the crowd likes the alleged violator, a “mea culpa” will let them keep their job. If not, it’s often out the door. Human Resources (HR) may now be a company’s most challenged department. Are criminal background checks for hiring, or enforcing a dress/uniform code really racist? When did a suit and tie or a dress become part of an establishment racist wardrobe? A company’s expectation for their employees’ attire is also out of bounds for this mob. Even defending others accused of any “-ism” can get someone fired. HR departments walk a fine line since there are

quotas for everything to ensure no one feels offended. Once upon a time in America, Jews, Italians, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, the Irish, etc. experienced limits on college enrollment and hiring numbers. However, institutionalized hiring quotas and discriminatory language in employment ads was outlawed decades ago. Polls show that average people are turned off and I

expect a backlash is coming. When beloved icons like Dr. Seuss books or Disney characters get slammed, it’s enough. Hopefully, gaming won’t experience this, despite its exotic and provocative employee costumes, game titles, artwork and casino design. It is part of the casino’s glamour. I worry that gaming is an easy target. Let’s hope that

tough, smart executives like Jim Allen and hundreds of other key casino or supplier management people, reject this environment. My advice? Stay tough and refuse to be bullied into firing people or signing petitions that will ultimately hurt business and risk employee goodwill.

MAY 2021 9

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