A gym in Atlanta has barred police officers and members of the military from entering the facility — and employed some vulgar language to do so. The EAV Barbell Club in East Atlanta hung a sign from its door that read “No f—– cops.”
The gym’s owner, Jim Chambers, stuck by the ban.
“We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘No cop’ policy since we opened,” Chambers told WXIA-TV. “We also don’t open membership to active members of the military.”
Chambers identified himself as a “lifelong political activist” and said the sign represented a political statement. Chambers told WXIA that the people who typically work out at the gym were minorities who were “uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement.”
Chambers took down the sign for now, but only because of the expletives. He said he’d be putting it back up with cleaner language and planned to still enforce the ban.
“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign and that seems to bring it out for people,” he told WXIA. “I don’t want the other folks there to take the heat that I’m willing to take.”
The Atlanta Police Department said the policy would not deter its officers from doing their job.
“Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job,” the department told WXIA.
Chambers, however, denied he or his patrons would ever need the police department’s services.
“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want,” he said. “But we’re not breaking the law.”
EAV Barbell’s police ban echoed a similar incident that occurred in Brooklyn, New York last week when a Dunkin’ Donuts employee refused to service two police officers.
“I don’t serve cops,” the unidentified employee said, according to the New York Post.
The store was harshly criticized for the alleged behavior. Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD commissioner James O’Neill condemned the incident, while de Blasio called it “illegal” and “unacceptable.”
“I don’t know the details and I wasn’t there, but if it’s what you describe, it’s someone being stupid and unfair to our police officers,” de Blasio said.
The store’s manager later told Gothamist the situation was a “misunderstanding.”
“Our franchises are committed to serving each and every guest with respect and courtesy,”…