A CrossFit Gym in Indianapolis has closed its doors after backlash from the LGBTQ community because the Gym Owner canceled a workout for ‘Pride’ Month.
An email was sent to all employees and members informing them of the decision by management. In addition, a note was left on the door which stated that they “will no longer operate” at this location.
Some employees and members left the gym on Wednesday after the gym’s owner Brandon Lowe sent out an email detailing that the gym was canceling a pride-themed workout.
Lowe sent RTV6 a statement about the cancellation of the workout, saying, in part “The gym has a history of welcoming and serving people training to be fit.” and “The gym never has and never will be anything but welcoming to
all human beings who live, move and breathe in God’s world.”
Furthermore, the CrossFit Chief Knowledge Officer Russell Berger tweeted his support early Wednesday saying that he supported the gym’s decision and thanked them for standing by their convictions and “refusing to celebrate sin.”
However, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman stated to Buzzfeed News that he didn’t support Berger’s views; “He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f*** up’ and hide out for awhile,” Glassman said to Buzzfeed News. “It’s sad. We do so much good work with such pure hearts — to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset. This changes his standing with us. What that looks like, I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate.”
According to RTV6, the timeline of events is as follows;
- Some employees and members of CrossFit Infiltrate planed a pride-themed workout before Indy Pride parade on Saturday
- The gym’s owner, Brandon Lowe, canceled the workout, saying “We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility – not pride.”
- Some people canceled their memberships, instead planning a pride-themed workout Thursday at 8 p.m.
- CrossFit Chief Knowledge Officer Russell Berger tweets his support for the decision to end the workouts, thanking the gym for standing by their convictions and “refusing to celebrate sin.” Many people on social media expressed outrage at his comments.
- Berger is placed on unpaid leave by CrossFit while his conduct is reviewed.
- A couple of hours after he was placed on leave, Berger was fired by CrossFit.
- The Indianapolis CrossFit Infiltrate location closes with a note on the door.
For an employee to be fired because of their religious and moral convictions goes against the First Amendment to the United States’ Constitution. While there may be internal notations that could further explain why Lowe was fired, it is unlikely. Rather, the events as described above portray religious discrimination by the gym’s CEO and justify a potential lawsuit.