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Gym memberships canceled over Black Lives Matter, pride flags

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    MIAMI (WFOR) — CrossFit Immersion in Coral Springs is a place where people feel comfortable working on their bodies, getting in shape both physically and mentally.

“We come here to work out,” explained Sonia Kane. “This is our happy place to be. We shouldn’t be judging people,” she said.

But Sunday, when the Black Lives Matter flag and the Pride flag began to fly over the gym, some members said that was a step too far.

Gym owners Rachel Handfinger and Adam Nadler started getting text messages and calls from a handful of people canceling their memberships. Rachel reads on that says, “Good Morning Rachel. I’m sorry to say I’m very disturbed by the new signs hanging in the gym. I can not work out with political statements,” the former member said.

Rachel and Adam say there is no politics here, these are beliefs — the Black Lives Matter flag commemorates the death of George Floyd and the fight for equality and the Pride flag is celebrating June as Pride Month.

For Adam, this is personal. “It’s emotional for me. I’m not going to lie,” Adam said with a tear welling up in his eye.

Adam’s grandfather was gay, but could never publicly celebrate his 50-year relationship with his partner and he has two bi-racial children.

“My kids are my world,” Adam explains, “and to make sure they know what I stand for and what’s important and not to be silent for them and what they could possibly go through. I don’t know what that’s like because I’m white and I grew up in an area with that so-called “white privilege,” where I don’t have to worry about it,” he said.

Adam struggled with whether he should express his views or not, in the end, he felt it wasn’t fair to not take a stand.

“There’s a great quote by Martin Luther King, he said ‘In the end, people aren’t going to remember the words of enemies they’re going to remember the silence of their friends,’ and silence could be deafening, but saying nothing is saying something,” he said.

Adam and Rachel figure in the coming days, more people could leave — but those flags will fly high.

“It’s absolutely not coming down. No!” Adam said. “In the two days we’ve lost 4 or 5 members we’ve gained 4,” Rachel explained. “So, we want to promote that this is a place that everyone can come. This might not be the place for everyone and that’s okay,” she said.

One member told us, the message here is simple, “You kind of just really have to love one each other,” said Marsha Folayan, that’s all it really comes down to. If you truly love each other then this shouldn’t bother you at all,” she said.

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