In the words of Dr. Phil, “common sense ain’t so common.” Even though we cannot fret over the fact that intelligence was not equally distributed, it’s still frustrating to know people don’t have enough sense to not mock death.
Jen Dunnington, co-owner of Anytime Fitness, a gym in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, is now apologizing after receiving major backlash over a workout titled “I can’t breathe.” According to Dunnington, a trainer at the facility wanted to “honor” Floyd by posting the workout to gym-goers.
Dunnington told TMZ that the workout was supposed to be “so hard that we felt what he felt,” but the whiteboard, which had a drawing of a man kneeling and the words “don’t you dare lay down” was considered inappropriate and appalling by hundreds in the community.
“I deeply apologize,” the co-owner said, admitting she deeply regrets the sign. “I was not aware of the signage that it was posted in that way,” she said. “I didn’t read it in that way, but I do definitely apologize that those words were on there.”
However, an apology video on the gym’s social media page has since been taken down, and workers at the facility stand by their statement that they did not mean to offend anybody. In fact, Dunnington and the gym thought that applying the “I Can’t Breathe” verbiage would motivate members.
But, a spokesperson from Anytime Fitness corporate office says the decision to post the sign was “shocking and devastating.”
“No matter the intent, we absolutely do not condone the words, illustrations, or actions this represents,” the Anytime Fitness officials said in a statement Wednesday. “To our employees, owners, and members, we are truly and profoundly sorry that this incident occurred.”
They continued, “One of our publicly-stated commitments to antiracism work is to bolster education efforts for our franchise owners to lead with empathy, love, and respect. This incident makes it clear that we have work to do in this space; immediately, we are sharing this incident with our franchise owners worldwide as an example of what not to do, why it is offensive, and what locations should be doing instead.”
“We remain committed to working to inform and educate employees and owners worldwide to stand for our black communities, including our members and employees. We are committed to listening and learning, so that we can take action that helps our communities heal and grow in real and meaningful ways.”