This might just be one of our favorite stories of the year.
Remember the Atlanta gym owner who attacked cops and veterans? Well, America spoke – and put him out of business.
His name is Jim Chambers. He owned EAV Barbell Club on the east side of Atlanta, and came under fire after putting up a sign attacking cops. He later doubled down to the media by saying he should have included “veterans” in the attack.
The full sign read, “Rules: Do whatever the hell you want, correctly, except Crossfit cultism. No f****** cops.”
The public display of blatant disrespect gained attention after a military veteran saw the message and reported it to media outlets.
“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 said.
The discriminatory owner said law enforcement personnel were not allowed in his business. He claimed their presence made his minority clientele uncomfortable.
The Atlanta Police Department did not comment on the ban but said:
“Were we to respond to an emergency there, this sign would not stop us from lawfully doing our job.”
Chambers said good luck with that.
“If they have a warrant, they can go anywhere they want,” Chambers said, “but we’re not breaking the law.”
Chambers said he would put the sign back up at some point but claimed that he and his clients would not need the help of law enforcement in the future.
“It was really just that the vulgarity in that sign that seems to bring it out for people,” Chambers told 11Alive. He says he plans to put the ‘No Cop’ sign back up without the foul language.
Lawyers interviewed by 11Alive found the policy strange, but said law enforcement officers are not a protected class under the law, and so only the courts could decide if EAV Barbell Club is violating any anti-discrimination laws.
Turns out America decided for him.
Shortly after the media coverage exploded, he shut down the company. He refused to speak to the media about it. Ironically, a company called Sabbath Brewing took its place… offering on-site sales of everything from farmhouse ales, sour beer and IPAs to coffee and espresso.
Before the gym shut down, however, our national spokesman published a letter to him that went viral. In case you missed it… here it is.
Dear Jim Chambers, owner of the police and veteran hating gym:
I’d like to start by congratulating you. All it took was a simple sign on the door of EAV Barbell Club stating “no Fu***** cops” to bring national media exposure to a d-list gym that probably has fewer paying clients than bourbon has ingredients. Well played.
Jim, I’d like to introduce myself to you.
I run an agency called The Silent Partner Marketing. Last year we launched a campaign to donate $500,000 worth of services to police and veterans (along with other first responders) to help tell the stories behind their uniforms.
Jim, my team watched your interview in the local media. We heard your comment:
“We don’t want to make police stronger so that they can make people hurt more efficiently.”
First of all, we want to apologize. Perhaps you’ve had a difficult experience in the past. Perhaps you’ve had run-ins with the law. Perhaps, when growing up, you didn’t have people telling you that they love you. Perhaps you’re just desperate to have someone pay attention to you.
Whatever your story is … it’s obviously difficult. And painful.
Want to know who else has experienced challenges in life? The police officers you are speaking out against.
And to your point – they absolutely hurt people. As a matter of fact, they do it regularly.
They hurt parents when they tell them that their child was killed in a car accident.
They hurt kids when they tell them their parents aren’t going to come home because they were shot and killed by an armed robber.
They hurt wives when they tell them that their husband, who was a veteran, took his own life because he lost to the demons of PTSD.
And I believe police officers NEED to be made stronger every day.
They need to be strong to hold that thin blue line.
They need to be strong to survive the attacks – both physically and mentally – on police.
They need to be strong enough to pull people out of burning cars … drowning children out of rivers … victims out of active gunfire. And they need to be strong enough to kiss their wives and husbands and children goodbye every day not knowing with certainty that they’ll return to them.
We heard you, Jim, when you said:
“You put a uniform on and quite honestly, I view that as an occupying enemy army.”
We don’t expect you to understand courage or bravery. To you, courage is running your mouth and then having to respond to 1-star reviews left here on your business Facebook page.
To us, courage is serving your country and your community. It’s putting on that uniform. It’s defending those who can’t defend themselves. It’s putting one’s own life in harm’s way.
It’s carrying the bodies of fallen comrades – not carrying weights.
It’s training for service – not training to try to pick up chicks at a dive bar.
It’s putting on work boots – not lacing up your pretty squatting shoes.
It’s wiping tears – not wiping sweat.
But you inspired us, Jim. So we’d like to do something to recognize that.
We’re partnering with several gyms in the area – including a couple run by police — to pay tribute to those officers and veterans that you spit upon. And these gyms are going to offer 30 days of free training to police and veterans who aren’t currently members.
But that’s not all. We’re going to continue to inspire others. So every single veteran or police officer that takes us up on the free training will also be invited to The Silent Partner Marketing for a glass of bourbon and to be featured on an episode of “Behind The Uniforms”. That’s where we highlight the positive and the difficult stories that our first responders and our veterans have lived.
We’re not doing this in your honor, Jim – we’re doing this in honor of the men and women who serve our country. Because THEY are our heroes. THEY defend your right to speak out against them. But they also defend OUR right to call you an idiot and make sure the world knows it.
Kyle S. Reyes