Gym 'Deeply Apologizes' for 'I Can't Breathe' Workout

Head office of Anytime Fitness says it is 'shocked and devastated' by offensive sign
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2020 3:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Wisconsin gym has apologized for an "I Can't Breathe" workout that was apparently well-intentioned—but staggeringly misguided. Photos shared on social media show a whiteboard at the Wauwatosa branch of Anytime Fitness with a drawing of a kneeling black figure, the words "I Can't Breathe" and "Don't You Dare Lay Down," and a list of exercises. Co-owner Jen Dunnington tells TMZ that she "deeply apologizes" to the many people offended by the sign. She says a trainer intended to "honor" George Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn't breathe as a police officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes. She says the exercises were meant to "be a workout so hard that we felt what he felt."

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Corporate management issued a statement saying they were "shocked and devastated to see that one of our franchise locations chose to offer an 'I Can't Breathe' workout." They said they are sharing the incident with franchise owners worldwide as "an example of what not to do." The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that "I Can't Breathe" has been chanted at protests worldwide over Floyd's death, including one involving hundreds of demonstrators in Wauwatosa days before the workout sign went up. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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