Share Tweet By Tr Goins-Phillips Editor
June 12, 2024

A memo circulated internally at 24 Hour Fitness is reportedly labeling symbols associated with Black Lives Matter and LGBT Pride as “freedom of expression” while banning patriotic imagery like the American flag except for on certain U.S. holidays.

The letter first obtained by the viral social media activist behind Libs of TikTok reportedly states employees should “bring their full selves to work every day” and encourages staffers which the company calls “team members” to dress in apparel that shows “solidarity and support” for specific causes.

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Employees at the gym chain are allowed at all times to wear clothing with phrases and images supporting Black Lives Matter, LGBT Pride, and Juneteenth. The memo further states patriotic apparel with the “[U.S.] Flag or United States logo” is only permitted “on holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Patriots Day, etc.”

“If other occasions come up where team members would like the opportunity for personal expression, please consult with your [general manager] and/or line manager,” the memo purportedly adds.

CBN News has reached out to 24 Hour Fitness’ press office for a statement. If a representative for the gym responds, this story will be updated to include those remarks.

Gyms have been in the crosshairs in recent years amid debates over transgender accessibility.

In the summer of 2023, for example, women who canceled their memberships to Ohio-based YMCAs began speaking out after a male who identified as a transgender woman exposed his genitalia in the women’s locker room, according to CBN News.

Then, in March of this year, Planet Fitness found itself in hot water. As CBN News reported, the nationwide chain’s stock value took a nosedive after drawing the ire of Americans who took umbrage with its transgender locker room policy.

The steep decline in stock value from $5.3 to $4.9 billion  came in the immediate aftermath of a Planet Fitness in Fairbanks, Alaska, where branch managers revoked the membership of a woman who took photo evidence of a male using the women’s locker room. When the concerned woman, Patricia Silva, approached the man, she claimed he identified as “queer.”

Silva posted a clip on Facebook to “bring awareness to her community” because she was shocked and concerned to find the man using the female changing space.

“I just came out of Planet Fitness,” she wrote in the caption of her post. “There is a man shaving in the women’s bathroom.”

Silva noted in the video there was “a little girl sitting in the corner. She could have been [12 years old]  in a towel kind of freaked out.” She notified the managers of her Planet Fitness gym and, within 24 hours, learned her membership at the exercise center had been revoked.

McCall Gosselin, chief corporate affairs officer for Planet Fitness, told Fox Business at the time that gym members are permitted to use whatever locker rooms and restrooms correspond to their gender and sexual identities, regardless of biological reality.

“Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use the gym facilities that best align with their sincere, self-reported gender identity,” he said. “The member who posted on social media violated our mobile device policy that prohibits taking photos of individuals in the locker room, which resulted in their membership being terminated.”

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