Three employees at an LA Fitness location in New Jersey have been fired after having been accused of racial profiling.
A series of videos on Facebook show two black men being kicked out of an LA Fitness in Secaucus after an employee called police. The men were accused of not paying to enter the gym.
Tshyrad Oates said he was visiting the gym with a friend and longtime member. Oates had a four-day guest pass.
“After about a half hour I was approached by this same employee telling me that I had to leave or pay and I explained to her that I just signed in with her with the guest pass,” Oates wrote on Facebook.
The employee accused Oates’ friend of having an inactive membership. Oates’ friend said his membership card was in his locker, which was later proved to be active when the card was scanned.
“We again started our workout and 10 mins later an La Fitness manager told us to leave,” Oates explained on Facebook. “We stated that we did not do anything wrong and have active current memberships. 2 mins later 5 police men show up asking us to leave. This La Fitness manager who refused to give us his reason to kicking us out, and refused to give us his name stated that I was banned from the gym and my friend’s gym membership has been terminated effective immediately.”
An employee at the gym told NJ.com that the manager and two other employees had been fired in response to the incident. “Regrettably, our staff unnecessarily escalated the situation and called the police rather than work through it,” LA Fitness said in a statement, adding that Oates’ friend was “clearly a long-time member” and no memberships had been cancelled.
The incident comes as the national coffee chain Starbucks prepares to shutter all of its U.S. locations on May 29 for race training in response to an incident of profiling at one of the company’s stores.