Unfortunately, black mothers and fathers in America have to add yet another notch to “the talk” list. This new one: being black, while working out.
Earlier today, L.A. Fitness announced that it fired three workers from a New Jersey gym after these workers kicked two black men out and called the police on them Monday night.
Tshyrad Oates, who was at this gym and using a guest pass with a friend that is a member of the gym, recorded the incident.
For context, using a guest pass to test out a new gym is just as common as waiting for a friend to meet you at Starbucks, prior to ordering any drinks; or asking for directions as a child, if you’re lost on your way to school in an unfamiliar neighborhood; or wearing your favorite pair of Jordan’s to the club, or even just walking in the backyard of your own grandmother’s house.
In other words, people use guest passes at gyms all the time.
According to Oates, he and his friend arrived at the gym, they both checked in, and after about a half hour, an employee told Oates that he and his friend “had to leave or pay.” Of course, Oates and his friend were the only two black people in the gym at the time of the incident.
Oates told the L.A. Fitness worker that he had literally just signed in, with a guest pass, 30 minutes ago, and his friend had also simultaneously swiped is member I.D., in order for Oates to enter the gym as a guest, literally 30 minutes ago.
The LA Fitness employee, unfazed, told Oates that his friend didn’t pay.
As one might expect, these two innocent black men did not have time for L.A. Fitness’s shenanigans, and proceeded to continue their workout. Well, at least until this employee called the Police on them.
5 Officers arrived on the scene to escort the men out of the gym, so Oates took the liberty to video-document the whole experience, which included Oates videoing his friend swiping his L.A. Fitness membership I.D. for the second time, and the I.D. working right before the L.A. Fitness employees’ eyes.
After all of this happened, you’d think that the L.A. Fitness employees would have just admitted that they had made a big mistake by profiling these two innocent black men, right? Close, but wrong.
Oates was subsequently banned from the gym, and his friend’s L.A. Fitness membership was terminated, without anyone ever explaining to them exactly why they were being punished…
While this is only speculation, L.A. Fitness will likely close some U.S. stores in the next couple of weeks for some racial-bias training or something weird like that.
Flip the pages to see Tshyrad Oates’s videos of L.A. Fitness kicking him and his friend out of the gym for being black, while trying to get in shape at the same time.