24 Hour Fitness says BLM, Pride flags are approved 'symbols of expression' but American flags are only for designated holidays

The list also includes "Flag or United States logo," with the stipulation that they only be worn on "holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Patriots Day, etc."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A newly surfaced internal memo from the national gym chain 24 Hour Fitness has revealed that employees were told they can wear items containing Pride or Black Lives Matter logos without restriction, while items containing the American flag could only be worn on holidays like the 4th of July.

"We’ve committed to creating a more inclusive environment at 24 Hour Fitness, recognizing that we have work to do to become stronger allies in support of those who are impacted by systemic oppression and inequality," the internal memo, obtained by Latinos United for Conservative Action Texas Director Carlos Turcios, stated. 

The memo, dated May 2023, told employees that outside of branded apparel provided by the company, "team members may also wear apparel permitted by our dress code (e.g. outer wear, masks, etc) that show their solidarity and support, that embody our collective humanity, and support our collective goal of equality for all.

A list of "currently approved movements" included Black Lives Matter/BLM, Pride or other Pride rainbow items, both with no restrictions on dates they can be worn, and the Juneteenth symbol on June 19.

The list also includes "Flag or United States logo," with the stipulation that they only be worn on "holidays such as Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Veteran’s Day, Patriots Day, etc."

"If other occasions come up where team members would like the opportunity for personal expression, please consult with your GM and/or line manager," the memo added.

A separate October 2022 memo, also obtained by Turcios, stated that trans-identified gym members can use "the restroom and locker room that they feel is most appropriate for them," and told employees that they cannot ask for an ID to "make a gender determination."

If a member has a complaint about the policy, employees are advised to "acknowledge that you have heard and understand the members’s concerns. You can show them our policy and explain that to ensure equal access to all members, we allow each member to determine which locker room is most appropriate for themselves."

Employees were also told to direct concerned gym members to the unisex bathroom "if the concerned member prefers greater privacy."

The surfacing of the memo comes after fellow gym chain Planet Fitness received pushback for a similar transgender locker room policy. Planet Fitness banned a woman from the gym after she revealed a biological male shaving inside the women's locker room. The gym subsequently lost $400 million in market value.
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