Local gyms band together in support of military, officers and veterans
Posted August 11
Manchester, CT — Several local gym owners are using a ban in Atlanta as motivation to do some good for local police officers.
A sign recently posted on the door of EAV Barbell Club in East Atlanta Village read "No Cops," according to a story from WGCL.
Gym owner Jim Chambers said police intimidate his clientele, which he called mostly minority. He does not allow active military personnel either.
Here in Connecticut, you'll find plenty of cops working out on any given day at Manchester Brazilian Jui Jitsu or over at CrossFit Thin Blue Line.
Both owners are surprised any business would ban officers and members of the military.
"To have a place like this, almost a sanctuary to come and relieve some of that stress," said Rob Magao, owner of Manchester Brazilian Jui Jitsu.
He's also a detective and 20-year police veteran.
Sara Nagle owns CrossFit Thin Blue Line.
"It was started by police officers, mainly for police and has grown to the building you see today," Nagle said.
She is also a police officer.
Both business owners say they are disappointed by a gym owner's actions in Atlanta to prohibit cops and military members from joining and working out.
"He has a right as a business owner to accept or not accept who he wants based on his belief system. But I don't have to agree with him and I obviously don't," Magao said.
Many of the members at these two gyms are officers or in the military.
They're now banding together to send their own message.
"I wanted people to know that even though there's a place that doesn't want them, there's plenty of places that do. Way more than don't," Magao said.
Gyms across Connecticut started a movement to offer a 30-day free membership to any officer, veteran or active duty military.
"Hopefully our positive voice can help to drown out the negative voice," said Jay Bell, of Gracie Farmington Valley Jui Jitsu.
There are now nearly 30 gyms across the country offering memberships in response to the actions by that gym in Atlanta.
Any officer wanting to take advantage of the offer in Manchester just needs to call or stop in.