A gym owner in Atlanta is sticking to a ban on police officers and military members at his business despite strong criticism from social media users.
Jim Chambers, the owner of EAV Barbell club, put a sign on the door of his gym that explicitly asked police officers not to work out there.
"Do whatever the f--- you want, correctly, except crossfit cultism. No f-----g cops," the sign read, according to the Associated Press.
According to WXIA-TV, Chambers has removed the sign from the door, but only because he regrets using profanities. He still says police officers are not welcome in his gym, nor are active military members.
"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 told WXIA-TV.
According to Chambers, the gym also serves as a community gathering spot and an activist meeting spot. He said that many of the people who frequent the gym are minorities, who are uncomfortable around police officers and military members given the current political climate.
Since news of EAV Barbell Club’s has spread, Facebook users have bombarded the gym with negative reviews. The gym currently has a rating of 1.2 stars on Facebook, and hs double the amount of one-star reviews on its page than total likes.
Others continue to defend Chambers despite the ban.
The Atlanta Police Department told WXIA that the policy would not prevent them from responding to an emergency at the gym. In turn, Chambers said he would allow the police to search his premises if they obtained a warrant.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.