Popular nationwide gym chain, PureGym, have come under fire after their Luton and Dunstable branch advertised "slave-themed" workout classes. Rather astonishingly, the class was created to celebrate Black History Month... I mean, wow. There really are no words.
The Facebook post about the classes, which was shared by Twitter user Georgia Coan, has since been removed and PureGym have issued an apology. In the post, PureGym Luton & Dunstable wrote: "Entitled '12 Years of Slave' (after the epic movie) this is our workout designed by @mattsimpt to celebrate Black History Month. Slavery was hard and so is this."
It continued on to explain the format of the insensitively-themed class, adding, "The twist to this is 1 rep of your first exercise, 2 of the second but before your move on the 3rd exercise which is also 3 reps you must start at the beginning and move on AND that's how the entire workout goes." It was followed up with a subsequent load of fitness-related hashtags and photo of a gym studio mirror with '12 Years Of Slave' [sic] written on it.
The shocking and hurtful post has since been removed and PureGym have shared an apology statement, describing it as "wholly unacceptable". Many social media users expressed their shock over something as traumatic as slavery being trivialised by becoming the basis for a voluntary workout class.
In full, PureGym's statement reads: "PureGym apologises unreservedly for a post regarding Black History Month that was made today by our gym in Luton & Dunstable. This post was wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed when it was brought to our attention.
"We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how or why this post was made. Thank you to those people who commented on this post and for raising this with us."
Clearly it goes without saying, a slavery-themed class to celebrate Black History Month (which was created to encourage people of all races to learn more about Black culture, as well as to celebrate the achievements of Black folk throughout the ages) is beyond messed up.
Official statement from PureGym regarding an inappropriate post on the Luton & Dunstable gym social media channels. pic.twitter.com/c91xwHIogk— PureGym (@PureGym) October 5, 2020
The trainer behind the workout, Matt Simpson, responded to one tweet calling it out saying, "What's so interesting about it? I've merely taken the name of an Oscar winning film and given it to a workout having the number of exercise coincide with the number in the title." It's believed he is also an assistant manager within the gym.
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