Jim Chambers is the owner of EAV Barbell Club in Atlanta. He’s also the guy who decided to ban police and active duty military from his gym. His reasoning?
“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,” he said.
For Chambers, a lifelong political activist, the sign and policy is a political statement outside a multi-use space which serves as a gym, community gathering spot and meeting place for activists in the metro area.
He says groups who work out there are generally minorities who are uncomfortable with the presence of law enforcement agents.
Which is amusing since, as The Federalist Papers noted, the vast majority of the people shown in photographs on the gym’s Facebook page appear to be as white as the driven snow.
So, what really drives this push by Chambers?
Watching the video of the report, however, shows some interesting things. For one, in a wide shot of the gym a flag of the Soviet Union is clearly shown hanging on the wall. What looks same hammer and sickle symbol appears on Chambers’s hand in this photo.
In fairness, couldn’t a tattoo be an indicator of a misspent youth? Perhaps, but does that also explain using communist propaganda pictures on your gym’s social media account?
Apparently, the military is only cool when it’s Soviet.
Chambers hasn’t backed down on his anti-cop smack-talking either. Since the story broke about his policy—a policy he claims has been in place since the gym opened a year ago—Chambers has doubled down on it.
Since then, he’s posted a photo of Michael Brown, describing him as someone “gunned down by a savage with a gun,” and Colin Kaepernick, stating, “We must normalize resistance to police terrorism in all settings. We stand with @kaepernick7.”
It’s safe to say that he doesn’t think there’s any problem with his comments.
To be sure, he certainly has a right to disrespect the police like that. He also has the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. These are his rights. Even the law agrees, since police aren’t considered a protected class.
They’re rights preserved by the two groups of people he has excluded, however.
Luckily for him, the Atlanta Police Department has made it clear that they will still do their jobs regardless of what Chambers believes. They’ll treat him no differently than any other person they encounter during the course of their duties, because that’s what they do.
Of course, if Chambers wants to vilify an entire group of people because of the actions of a few, whether those few did anything wrong or not, he should be careful. With a hammer and sickle on his hand and a Soviet Union flag in his gym, more than one person can play that game…and he will not come out on the winning side of that one.