Three LA Fitness employees were fired over a racial profiling incident involving a Black man at one of their locations, USA Today reports.
Tshyrad Oates said he and his friend were at one of the club’s locations in Secaucus, NJ where they filmed the incident between themselves and employees.
Oates said that he was approached by an employee who told him he had to pay even though he was part of his friend’s four-day guest pass.
“After about a half hour I was approached by this same employee telling me that I had to leave or pay and I explained to her that I just signed in with her with the guest pass,” he wrote. “She stated that it was my friend who did not pay (unaware that her manager had already signed him in with his membership pass).”
After a back and forth between the men and staff, management called the police. Oates captured the exchange on video and posted it on his Facebook page.
The company provided a statement to USA Today saying, “regrettably. . . our staff unnecessarily escalated the situation and called the police rather than work through it.”
“We want to clarify that no membership was cancelled and no one, including the member’s guest, was banned from the club. We have spoken to the member to apologize and assure him that he and his guests are welcome in our clubs at all times,” said Jill Greuling, executive vice president of operations.
It’s been a notable week for companies dealing with issues of racial discrimination. Starbucks has been embroiled in controversy after two Black men were taken away in handcuffs while waiting for a business meeting to start.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.