A gym boss at a UK university has been sacked over allegations he joked how a woman should be ‘raped’ for not showing up to a class.
Senior fitness instructor Ross Brain, of Edinburgh University's Sport & Exercise club, is accused of sending offensive messages to a work WhatsApp group.
The message reportedly sent by Mr Brain read: ‘Lets rape her. Or give her the choice of 600 burpees or rape.’
While other colleagues ignored the message, Mr Brain then appeared to follow up with another message, saying: ‘No-one up for this then?’
After the message, which was sent shortly before Christmas, staff reported the comments to the HR department in January.
But colleagues were left bemused after waiting for over three months for action to be taken.
The Edinburgh Evening News reports the fitness instructor was sacked on Wednesday evening following an open letter demanding the university dismiss him was signed by 800 students.
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A source at the gym said: ‘It's like they're trying to brush it under the rug. People are feeling let down. The university is loud and proud about its zero tolerance policies but a lot of people want action on this - they feel abandoned.'
‘Staff were told there'd be an investigation in January and have heard no more.
‘There are off-hand sexist remarks particularly working in the fitness industry that are leftover attitudes that haven't made their way out yet.
‘One senior manager apparently told female members of staff they must wear tight leggings because 'it looks more professional'.
A spokesman for the University of Edinburgh said: ‘We take incidents such as this very seriously - the use of such language is abhorrent and has no place in this University.
‘We have a zero-tolerance stance towards sexual harassment of any kind and are absolutely committed to providing an environment in which all members of the University community treat others with dignity and respect.
‘We put significant effort into reinforcing our zero tolerance culture including through campaigns such as 'Don't Cross the Line'.
‘While we do not comment on the detail or outcome of individual cases, we can confirm that a full disciplinary investigation has taken place in this instance.’