- Staff Sgt. Jake Talbot said he was asked not to wear a Trump 2016 T-shirt to CDY Fitness in Troy, Missouri.
- He said the owner of the gym, Liz Drew, told him it was offensive to others and “represents racism.”
- Drew said she asked him not to wear the shirt, but didn’t explicitly ban it from the gym.
- She said she spoke to him about the shirt after other gym members voiced concerns over it to her.
An Army veteran who lives in Missouri says he was told not to wear a shirt supporting President Donald Trump to the gym because it made others “uncomfortable.”
Staff Sgt. Jake Talbot said the owner of CDY Fitness in Troy, Missouri, told him he couldn’t wear a “Trump 2016” shirt any longer because it was offensive to her and others.
“She said that it was racist and represents racism and that’s when I when I was like ‘oh, you’re done,'” Talbot told KMOV.
Talbot voiced his frustrations in a Facebook video, in which he said the word “racism” is used “way too loosely.”
The owner of the gym, Liz Drew, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she disputed Talbot’s claim that she told him he couldn’t wear the shirt.
She also said that she had received hateful messages after Talbot posted about the incident on Facebook.
“I said, ‘Jake, we’re friends and I love you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t wear that shirt in the future,'” Drew told the Post-Dispatch.
She said Talbot had worn the shirt several times and other gym members had complained about the shirt.
“This was about protecting the comfort level of all members and keeping politics out of my gym. Sadly, it has done just the opposite,” she said.
Drew also posted a statement on the gym’s Facebook page, which has since been deleted.
The statement said: “I am deeply saddened by the amount of hate this event has garnered. I will personally and publicly continue to defend my stance for tolerance and against hate no matter the financial consequence … Allow me to clarify. I don’t believe our gym should be a political forum for anyone. I want everyone to feel safe and comfortable there. We are all trying to improve ourselves and work hard to change.”
Talbot said that another nearby gym offered him a free year-long membership.
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