Gym Refuses Member, Claims Language as Safety Issue

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A Richmond, Ky., gym is getting pushback after it refused service to a woman over her inability to speak English.

Robert Monraga posted to Facebook about his mother’s experience at Fitness with Faith, where she was told that her she couldn’t join the gym if she couldn’t speak English because it would represent a safety issue.

Gym owner Carolyn Tudor confirmed in a post responding to Monraga that Faith for Fitness expects its members to speak English for safety purposes. However, that post was taken down, and Tudor later posted an apology.

“In order to have a more inclusive environment, our policies have been updated to include ALL women, of any nationality for membership, regardless of language barrier,” Tudor said in a Facebook post. “I deeply apologize for any hurt feelings that I may have caused. Carolyn, owner.”

The Lexington NBC affiliate spoke with a civil rights attorney who said that private entities, such as Faith for Fitness, could be exempt from discrimination laws due to “freedom of association, where they can then choose to associate with who they want, in private circumstances.”

However, another attorney said the gym could be in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Richmond Human Rights Commission said it will be investigating the incident.

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