An Army veteran said he was asked not to wear a shirt that read “2016 Trump for President” at a Missouri gym on the grounds that it would make others feel uncomfortable.
Staff Sgt. Jake Talbot told St. Louis told KMOV that he wore the pro-Trump shirt at CDY Fitness in Troy before, but on Jan. 20, the gym’s owner asked him not to wear it.
“I was just puzzled there for a second. She said that it was racist and represents racism and that’s when I when I was like ‘Oh, you’re done,’” Talbot told the station.
Jake Talbot said the gym owner told him other gym members had expressed that the shirt was “racist” and “inappropriate”.
Adding that he’s been a gym member there for eight years, Talbot went on Facebook to voice his displeasure.
In the Facebook video, he said the word “racism” is thrown around too much nowadays.
“I hate the word, its used way too loosely. It’s 2019, get the hell over it. It’s not racism,” he added.
“It’s a free country. It’s what I fight for. I love this country, and I’m very patriotic,” Talbot said in the video.
“That’s my commander in chief,” he said. “He’s doing a job and everyone needs to support him. I think he’s doing a good job. I’m tired of the split, divide of the whole country.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch identified the gym owner as Liz Drew, and she released a statement on Facebook, which was deleted.
A man said the gym asked him to change his "2016 Trump for President" shirt while he was working out, and said he was…
According to KMOV, her message stated: “I am deeply saddened by the amount of hate this event has garnered. I will personally and publicly continue to defend my stance for tolerance and against hate no matter the financial consequence.”
She added: “Allow me to clarify. I don’t believe our gym should be a political forum for anyone. I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable there. We are all trying to improve ourselves and work hard to change.”
A number of people have threatened to cancel their CDY Fitness memberships.
由 Jake Talbot 发布于 2019年1月20日周日
Drew disputed claims that she told him to remove the shirt.
“I said, ‘Jake, we’re friends and I love you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t wear that shirt in the future,’” Drew told the Post-Dispatch.
She also issued a statement about supporting service members.
“I have much respect for all of our service members. I regret that some were offended by this misunderstanding. I was simply attempting to ensure that all of my members felt safe and unthreatened,” she told KSDK via text message.
KSDK reported that another gym in the area offered Talbot a free one-year membership after his video went viral.
Attorney Lynette Petruska, meanwhile, told KMOV that Drew “really didn’t violate any First Amendment or anti-discrimination law.”
‘No Trump Supporters’
Meanwhile, the owner of a Chicago’s Hyde bar drew ire for it’s “No Trump supporters” rule.
The prohibition era-style bar said the “no Trump supporters” rule was intended as a joke.
“These are the rules of the house making their rounds. There’s no room for negative people in our house,” the Hyde posted to Instagram Monday, Jan. 21, along with the list of 16 rules (listed at the end of the article) in the bar foyer. “If you don’t understand the industry and are ignorant to the humor in this then do us a favor and hit that unfollow button.”