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L.A. Fitness may need to borrow Starbucks' racial bias training manual.
The Washington Post reports two men were escorted out of the gym by police after being accused of not paying to use the facilities. One of the men, Tshyrad Oates, claimed he used a guest pass to meet his friend, another black male, who pays for a membership at the gym's New Jersey location. But that didn't stop an employee from telling them to leave because his friend (with the membership) did not pay. They explained that he had a membership and the situation seemed handled.
"He felt racially profiled and embarrassed by the harassment of this L.A. Fitness employee in front of other members at the gym," read Oates' lengthy Facebook post on the situation that accompanies four videos at the gym.
Spoiler alert: it was not handled. Two police officers showed up to escort them out. But when they explained the membership and guest pass situation and proving the friend's active member status, the L.A. Fitness manager said they still had to leave. A few minutes later, there were five police officers there to see them out.
L.A. Fitness’ parent company, Fitness International, told the Associated Press that three employees involved are no longer with the company. This incident comes after a similar situation happened at Starbucks where cops arrested two black men two minutes after they sat down to wait for a friend without paying for something. Another recent clip seemingly shows an employee deny a black man the bathroom code since he didn't buy anything despite giving it to a non-black man who also didn't buy anything. As a result, Starbucks fired the employee who called the police and is closing down 8,000 of its stores to conduct racial bias training for their employees.
As for L.A. Fitness, this isn't the first time they've been accused of racially profiling their members. Back in February, Jim Jones accused its Los Angeles location of it when they threatened to terminate his membership after he asked for a charger.
Yep, they might need that manual, ASAP.