An Atlanta gym owner who banned police officers and military members from working out at his facility put up a notice cursing cops and warning then to stay away.
Jim Chambers, owner of the EAV Barbell Club, put up a sign reading: "Rules: Do whatever the hell you want, correctly, except crossfit cultism – no f**king cops."
On its Instagram account, the gym showed the sign with the caption, "We simplified our membership policy."
Chambers said, "We've had an explicitly stated 'No Cop' policy since we opened, and we also don't open membership to active members of the military." Chambers told 11Alive:
We wanted one space that was just a little different; it’s not an aggressive hetero, jock space that’s dominated by cops and soldiers. It’s a place where you’re safe from that … and we don’t want to make police stronger so that they can hurt people more efficiently … It’s not a personal thing, it’s you put a uniform on and quite honestly I view that as an occupying enemy army when you put that uniform on.
Lawyers said that Chambers’ actions would not be considered illegal because police and soldiers are not considered a “protected class.”
Chambers later removed the sign, saying he would replace it with one that had no cursing. He said, "It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people … I didn't want the other folks there to take the heat that I'm willing to take.”
The Atlanta Police Department told 11Alive, "Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job."