NEW YORK, March 22 (UPI) -- A former Home Depot employee says the company fired him over a tattoo of his ex-girlfriend's name -- "Isis," a name derived from a fabled Egyptian goddess.
The letters of the inner-lip tattoo are written in capitalized form -- "ISIS" -- replicate an acronym used to reference the Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a terrorist army of Sunni Muslim extremists who seized large swaths of land last year and publicized several beheadings of Westerners.
"I honestly didn't know what the acronym meant until just recently," Kirk Soccorsco told CNN affiliate News 12 Long Island.
While working as a Home Depot tool demonstrator in Patchogue, N.Y., Soccorsco said, he overheard the term during a conversation and showed his tattoo to a co-worker.
Home Depot and the Florida marketing firm that paid Soccorsco fired him soon after. Soccorsco said both entities told him not to return to the store.
Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes told News 12 that the termination was "a personnel matter and the decision wasn't just based on the tattoo."
Soccorsco contends that he is not a terrorist and that he got the tattoo four years ago. He said he is no longer with the woman whose name is depicted.
"I feel a little lost," he said. "It was a good-paying job."
Soccorsco is reportedly considering legal action against Home Depot.