An Anytime Fitness location in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, advertised a workout titled “I Can’t Breathe” in its gym. The workout seemingly referenced the final words of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes on May 25. The trainer who posted the workout has been put on leave and the gym’s owners apologized. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A gym in Wisconsin is facing fierce criticism after it advertised a workout titled “I Can’t Breathe” that featured a drawing of a person kneeling.Anytime Fitness in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, seemingly used workout, which featured a rotation of rowing and burpees, to reference the last words of George Floyd, who died on May 25 when a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes. The officer whose knee was on Floyd’s neck as he pleaded “I can’t breathe” was fired and charged with second-degree murder. Three other officers have also been fired and charged.A photo of a whiteboard at the Anytime Fitness showed the workout alongside a drawing of a person kneeling, with the words “Don’t you dare lay down” at the bottom.”Really concerned that @AnytimeFitness finds mocking the death of George Floyd appropriate. Racism is alive in Wauwatosa #Milwaukee,” a Twitter user who shared the photo said.
—kⓋ (@cashewcruise) June 10, 2020Several others also criticized the workout. —horhay??????????? (@notDEBUNKED) June 10, 2020—Innocuous Dove (@DoveInnocuous) June 10, 2020 Jen Dunnington, the co-owner and general manager of the Wauwatosa Anytime Fitness location, apologized for the workout on Facebook, saying her team recognized “how deeply offensive our words, illustrations, and actions have been.”According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the trainer who made the “I Can’t Breathe” workout has been placed on leave.The co-owners of Anytime Fitness, a gym chain with more than 4,000 franchised locations, issued an apology for the workout on Twitter Wednesday, saying they were “shocked and devastated” by it.
“No matter the intent, we absolutely do not condone the words, illustrations, or actions this represents,” the statement from co-founders Chuck Runyon and Dave Mortensen read. “To our employees, owners, and members, we are truly and profoundly sorry that this incident occurred.”They said the company is “bolstering training efforts” as part of its “commitments to antiracism work.””This incident makes it clear that we have work to do in this space,” the statement said. “We are sharing this incident with our franchise owners worldwide as an example of what not to do, why it is offensive, and what locations should be doing instead. We remain committed to working to inform and educate employees and owners worldwide to stand for our Black communities including our members and employees.”