Atlanta, GA - The owner of the EAV Barbell Club has posted a sign that said no cops are allowed in his gym.
A photo of the sign was sent to 11 Alive by a military veteran, who was not identified, and who said he was offended when he saw the sign. The gym is located on Flat Shoals Avenue in Atlanta's east Atlanta Village neighborhood.
"RULES: DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT, CORRECTLY, EXCEPT CROSSFIT CULTISM - NO FUCKING COPS".
In the comments to that post, a man named Drew Keegan asked "What exactly does this sign mean hanging on your door? Specifically, the last part."
In response, EAV Barbell CLUB said "It means that police are not welcome in our establishment."
Reporter Faith Abubey talked to the gym's owner, Jim Chambers, and he said he's not apologizing. He said, "It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people." Even though Chambers refused to apologize, he temporarily took the sign down because of the profanity.
Chambers said he took the posted policy down because, "I didn't want the other folks there to take the heat that I'm willing to take." The lifelong 'political activist' said that the sign is a 'political statement' to protect the groups who regularly work out there, including "minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents."
Chambers also added that military veterans are not allowed either. His gym is often a gathering spot in the community, and a place where activists meet.
He said that it's not against the law for him to discriminate, and that if a police officer had a warrant, that he could go anywhere he wanted.
The Atlanta Police Department took the high road, and would not comment except to say, "Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job."
In response, Chambers said that they never have, nor will they ever need a police officer. He also said that he plans on putting his sign back up, without the language.
The reviews section on the gym's Facebook page has been disabled, apparently due to the overwhelming negative response. UPDATE: Reviews are back up.
Police officers are not a protected class according to various lawyers, and it would be up to a court to decide if it's discrimination.
It is illegal to discriminate against veterans when hiring, but it's not clear if he can discriminate against veterans.