Atlanta Gym Owner Bans Cops and Military

“We don’t want to make police stronger so that they can hurt people more efficiently.”

An owner of a gym in Atlanta has stated he wants no police officers or members of the military working out at his facility. His handwritten sign hung at the entrance read, “Do whatever the f*** you want, correctly, except crossfit cultism. No f***ing cops.”

Jim Chambers, the owner of EAV Barbell Club, spoke to WXIA after local residents contacted the news station after seeing his vulgar signage from the street. Although he has taken down the sign and regrets the wording, he’s not altering the policy and plans on putting up another sign sans profanity.

“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,” Chambers said. “We wanted one space that was just a little different.”

“It’s not an aggressive, hetero-jock space that’s dominated by cops and soldiers,” he added. “It’s a place where you’re safe from that.”

Another reason cops aren’t allowed is that Chambers doesn’t want “to make police stronger so that they can hurt people more efficiently.” In his view, anyone that puts on a uniform is “an occupying enemy army.”

Chambers wrote on his website:

“We are a radically aligned, left-friendly gym and community. We require no one to agree with any set of politics, but if you are hostile to the fringe, you ought to look elsewhere. We wanted to create a gym that wouldn’t be prohibitive due to cost, or overly aggressive, exclusionary jock culture. We want elite athletes and total newbs, anyone looking to pick up a bar. Meatheads welcome, too, so long as tolerance abounds.”

There’s a personal note about Chambers at the site, too:

Miscreant and weightlifting nerd. Jim discovered weightlifting while living in Russia, and went on to run & manage 3 gyms in NY & ATL, where he worked as a coach and nutrition consultant. He holds a USAW Level 1 Certificate. Immediately prior to EAV Barbell, Jim trained and coached athletes at Coffee's Gym in Marietta. Outside of the gym, Jim lives in a psychedelic trance, fights cops and writes things. He competes quite humbly as a men's senior 85kg lifter, but mostly loves the sport, and loves teaching.

WXIA spoke with lawyers who said the signs are legal because cops and soldiers aren’t a protected class. Police said Chambers’ sign would not keep them from doing their jobs if they were ever needed to protect the gym or the owner.