Howard Schultz is the CEO of Starbucks, a Seattle native and the former owner of the Sonics. In 2006, he sold the franchise to an Oklahoma City energy baron and expressed outrage when said Oklahoma City energy baron promptly moved the Sonics to -- you guessed it -- Oklahoma City. For this, many in Seattle feel scorn toward Schultz.
Schultz has a book out about the great Starbucks renaissance he led. That means book signings. That means an opportunity for angry Sonics fans to speak their minds directly to Schultz. Or not. At a signing at a Costco in Issaquah, Wash., today, a heckler yelled at Schultz about betrayal. The Issaquah Press (via Seattle Weekly) on what happened next:
Costco employees and off-duty Issaquah police officers steered people in Sonics regalia away from the signing table.
Unfortunately for Schultz, Adam Brown, producer of the documentary Sonicsgate, was in the crowd, wearing a Sonics hat and booted. (He was not the heckler.) Unfortunately for Schultz, Costco and the Issaquah Police Department, Brown has a substantial web following in Seattle and beyond. So what began as one heckler going public with his dismay turned into an embarrassingly cowardly display of knee-jerk reaction by Costco and the police.
Furthermore, did Howard Schultz really not know this was coming? Maybe skip the public appearances in the Seattle area for now.