Three New Jersey LA Fitness employees have been fired amid an alleged racial profiling incident that took place at the company’s Secaucus location. LA Fitness faced nationwide backlash over viral Facebook videos posted by an African American man who was allegedly kicked out of the gym because of his race. The man claims he was visiting the gym on a four-day guest pass with his friend, a longtime member of the gym.
The man reported that a staff member approached him and told him he either had to pay or leave the gym. When he told the staff member that he had just signed in using his guest pass, she replied it was his friend who had not paid. The man’s friend told her that he is an active member of the gym and that he had his gym tag in his locker. Shortly thereafter, two policemen arrived at the location to question the men.
After they explained the situation, the friend’s membership tag was scanned and confirmed to be active. The police then left, and the two men resumed their workouts. However, a few minutes later, they were approached by an LA Fitness manager who told them to leave. The men told the employee that their membership was active and current. However, shortly thereafter five police officers arrived and asked them to leave the gym.
The gym manager allegedly told the man that he was banned from LA Fitness and that his friend’s membership was terminated effective immediately. The man says he believes that he was the victim of racial profiling. In one of his Facebook videos, the man points out that he and his friend were the only two black men visible at the gym as the camera scanned the workout area.
This incident made news shortly after a similar one at a Philadelphia Starbucks gained national attention. In that case, the store manager called police after asking two black men to leave because they had not made any purchases. Six police officers arrived and arrested the men for trespassing. Both incidents show that “structural racism” remains an unfortunate aspect of society, even in the 21st century.
If you were the victim of racial profiling, contact the Pennsylvania civil rights lawyers at Williams Cedar. We represent clients nationwide from our offices in Haddonfield, New Jersey and Philadelphia. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-557-0099 or 856-470-9777 today.