Savannah Bananas employee quits citing COVID-19 cases kept from public
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Director of Entertainment for the Savannah Bananas has quit, saying the organization wasn’t being transparent about their COVID-19 cases to the people who matter the most: the fans.
“They weren’t being honest with the people of Savannah and with their fans who were potentially coming here to get infected,” said Trevor Trout, former Director of Entertainment.
Trout says the employees were aware of the positive cases, but it was the organization’s responsibility to tell the people. Owners Emily and Jesse Cole say they’ve been in constant contact with the city throughout all of this.
“Our staff who did test positive immediately shared with our internal staff within hours of a positive test coming out. Our entire staff knew and the health department and the city,” said Cole.
Trout says management told him the health department said they were the 'gold standard' and being proactive. Because of this, he gave this message to groups he managed like the Banana Nanas and the Man-Nanas.
“I found out later that night that the gold standard was something that never was mentioned in this conversation with the health department. They said we were being proactive, except I knew we were being reactive,” said Trout.
Cole says the health department did in fact give them the thumbs up in their efforts ultimately leading them to have a season this year.
“We never just assumed that we were going to play. It was a joint decision between the health department, the City of Savannah, our league and our team,” said Cole.
Trout says he is concerned how the team will protect thier fans if the organization can’t protect the office staff. However, the owners say the fans are their number one priority.
“Every decision we make is fans first. That’s what we always ask ourselves. So when it comes to something like this we go over the top and above and beyond to be there for the fans,” said Jesse Cole.
“I didn’t want this. Nobody did. Nobody has a playbook, but I can tell you what wouldn’t be in that playbook and that is hiding things that should not be hidden,” said Trout.
Other employees say they're confident that management is doing what is right, for not only staff but for the fans who can come enjoy the games this year.
“Everyone’s doing as best as they possibly can and I’m confident that we’ve talked to the people and the experts who we need to talk to and they’ve given us our blessing and that’s good enough for me,” said Marie Gentry.
The Savannah Bananas say they’re confident about a July 1 opener. The owners say they’re taking all of the precautions put in place to keep everyone safe.
Copyright 2020 WTOC. All rights reserved.