Social media outrage and demands that stadium concessionaire Centerplate Inc. fire its chief executive continued Thursday amid charges of animal cruelty.

Desmond Hague, CEO of Stamford, Conn.-based foodservice contractor Centerplate, was caught on video in an elevator kicking a Doberman puppy and roughly yanking the dog’s leash. The video has been widely circulated in social media circles.

Hague this week issued a statement apologizing for the incident, saying it was “completely and utterly out of character.”

After an internal investigation, Centerplate’s board of directors on Wednesday said they issued a written censure, putting Hague on indefinite probation.

As a condition of employment, Hague was also ordered to personally donate $100,000 to create a foundation in the dog’s name — the Sade Foundation — to support the protection and safety of animals. He has also been asked to serve 1,000 hours of community service at an animal welfare organization.

The board noted that Hague also faces potential criminal charges in Vancouver, Canada, where the incident occurred.

Centerplate’s response, however, was seen as little more than a slap on the wrist by many, who flooded the company’s Twitter account with angry comments and demands for Hague’s ouster.


A petition calling for Hague to be fired was signed by more than 36,000 as of Thursday morning, and many on social media said they planned to boycott concessions at Centerplate stadiums.

Stadium operators scrambled to distance themselves from the incident.

Centerplate has more than 300 foodservice clients in the sports and entertainment world around the globe, including the new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., home to the San Francisco 49ers, as well as the Superdome in New Orleans and Sun Life Stadium in Miami.