An East Atlanta Village gym has decided to make their minority customers feel more comfortable and allow them to exercise in peace.
The gym put a sign outside announcing that cops are not allowed, “No F***ing Cops”.
An 11Alive News viewer emailed us the photo of the sign. He says he’s a military veteran and was offended when he saw it outside the East Atlanta Village gym. So 11Alive contacted the owner to ask about it.
“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people,” said Jim Chambers, owner of the EAV Barbell Club on Flat Shoals Avenue in the city’s East Atlanta Village neighborhood.
Chambers took down the sign, because of the vulgar word, but plans to replace it with a less vulgar version. Even without the sign, Chambers said the no cop policy is still in place as it has been since the gym opened.
“I didn’t want the other folks there to take the heat that I’m willing to take,” Chambers said. “We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘No Cop’ policy since we opened, and we also don’t open membership to active members of the military,” he said.
Chambers is a lifelong political activist, and the sign and policy is a political statement outside a multi-use space which serves as a gym, community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.
He says groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.
The Atlanta Police Department said, “Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”
“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want, but we’re not breaking the law,” Chambers said.
Law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law, but only the courts can decide if EAV Barbell Club is violating any anti-discrimination laws.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)