SECAUCUS – Two black men have alleged they were victims of racial profiling at a Secaucus LA Fitness, saying the manager asked them to leave during their workout. Although they said they were active members of the gym, police were called and they were asked to leave.
Though no-one at LA Fitness would comment on whether or not the manager was terminated, an NJ.com article reported that he was, along with two employees. The report said their reporter spoke to a “salesman” at the gym.
"The officers responded to a report by management, regarding a complaint with a couple of patrons," Police Capt. Dennis Miller said. "The officers responded appropriately and professionally. They quelled what could have been a volatile situation."
In a Facebook post, Tshyrad Oates said he signed in with an employee at the gym under a guest pass. His accompanying friend, he claims, was already a gym member.
"After about a half hour, I was approached by this same employee, telling me that I had to leave or pay, and I explained to her that I just signed in with her with the guest pass," Oates wrote. He then alleged that the employee said his friend did not pay. This, he said, promoted his friend to tell the employee he was an active member.
"He felt racially profiled and embarrassed by the [alleged] harassment of this LA Fitness employee in front of other members at the gym," Oates wrote.
Though the men continued their workout, Oates said, "Next thing we know [two] police men show up questioning us on why we were there with no memberships."
He then claims they explained to police they were active members and rescanned his friend's member tags as proof. After again resuming their workout, the manager allegedly approached the men and asked them to leave.
"Two [minutes] later five police men show up asking us to leave," Oates wrote. The manager then allegedly told Oates he and his friend were banned immediately from the gym.
Police would not release any further details beyond Capt. Miller’s comment.