Report: Gym owner makes no apologies for 'No Cops' sign
ATLANTA, Ga. - A vulgar sign displayed at the front of a gym in Atlanta is drawing national attention after the owner declared he would not allow police officers or military members at his business.
According to to a report from WXIA, the sign posted out front of the East Atlanta Village Gym has a very clear message. A local passerby took a photo of the sign which says, in no uncertain terms, that the business does not serve police officers.
WXIA talked to the gym's owner, who is not making any apologies for putting up the sign.
"It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign, and that seems to bring it out for people," said Jim Chambers, owner of the EAV Barbell Club.
The gym's 'No Cop' policy is no longer plastered on the front door.
"I didn't want the other folks there to take the heat that I'm willing to take," Chambers told WXIA.
Despite the flak that his business has been catching, Chambers says he stands by his policy.
"We've had an explicitly stated 'No Cop' policy since we opened, and we also don't open membership to active members of the military."
Chambers told WXIA that he is a lifelong political activist and that the sign serves as a political statement. He said the gym itself doubles as a community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.
He added that groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.
The Atlanta Police Department would not comment on the policy, but told WXIA that the sign would not stop them from doing their job if there was an emergency at the business.
"If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want, but we're not breaking the law," Chambers said.
Chambers said his business never has, and won't ever need the help of officers. He says he plans to remove any obscene language and put the 'No Cop' sign back up.
Lawyers told WXIA that though the policy may be strange, law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law and only a court may decide if the gym is violating any anti-discrimination laws.
Click HERE to see WXIA' full report.