A gym owner from Atlanta, U.S, has banned police officers and military personnel from gaining membership.
But despite receiving death threats and hate mail, he is sticking to his guns. Jim Chambers and his gym EAV Barbell Club received a huge backlash after his handwritten sign, reading ‘No fucking cops’, went viral.
Despite the outrage, this is not a new rule and has been the gym’s policy ever since it opened over 18 months ago.
According to Jim, the policy doesn’t target veterans, and isn’t there to encourage violence and unrest. It’s also not intended to target individuals, and is apparently more about ‘indicting systems’
Speaking with The Huffington Post, Jim explained how the gym was a meeting place for many people of colour, as well as those from the LGBTQ community.
Some members are reportedly uncomfortable with police officers and military personnel being present.
On the company Instagram page, EAV Barbell Club is described in the following terms:
The weightlifting island of misfit toys. Collectively-run weightlifting club & radical organizing space. Do whatever the hell you want here.
Jim put the sign up after being angered by the police shooting of Ismael Lopez back in July. Officers shot innocent Ismael by mistake, after tragically entering the wrong address.
According to Jim:
I make no exceptions. Once you become part of the system, we are not interested in serving you.
Owner of EAV Barbell Club in Atlanta, Jim Chambers, is set on not allowing police officers or active military into his gym: pic.twitter.com/xoUvxayPAj
— Eyewitness News (@wbrewyou) August 9, 2017
Since the sign went up, Facebook reviews of the gym plummeted to a woeful 1.4 stars, with many people taking issue with what they view as discrimination.
One person commented the no police stance was ‘true hypocrisy in action’ whereas another noted ‘don’t expect police to help you when you get all your equipment robbed, dipshit’.
What do you think?
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.