Woman with Down Syndrome asked to remove weight belt at Hixson - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woman with Down Syndrome asked to remove weight belt at Hixson gym because it was 'intimidating,' her sister said

Posted: Updated:
Photo Credit: Alicia Rogers Photo Credit: Alicia Rogers
HIXSON, TN (WRCB) -

A Chattanooga woman posted on Facebook that a manager at Planet Fitness in Hixson asked her sister, who has Down Syndrome, to remove her weight belt because it was intimidating to other members.

The post has already been shared over 1,000 times.

Alicia Rogers said her sister, Amanda, has worn the belt to the club for years and no one has ever said anything.

Here is what Alicia Rogers's post said:

I’ve been a member of Planet Fitness for years. The “no judgment zone” place, yeah, that one. I’ve always taken my sister, Amanda, who happens to be Down Syndrome. Amanda is pre diabetic and needs to stay active. Plus, it’s time we get to spend together. 
Today was just like any leg day, I did my thing and Amanda followed. Amanda always wears a weight belt that I bought her at my insistence to keep her back straight. She’s worn it for YEARS and no one has ever said anything until today. A manager approached me and told me that my sister needs to take off the belt or put it under her clothes. When I asked
why, she said it was bc “it’s intimidating to other members”. My sister. Intimidating. Yes, that’s right. This manager has seen my sister, myself and my mother at this location, though claims to have never seen Amanda wear her belt until today. 
I went to the front desk where both Manager and Area Manager failed to show me where “weight belts” are prohibited. Even the sign with the guy on it, had no belt on, though she tried to convince me he was wearing
one, like I was blind, stupid or both. The Area manager, Brandon, tells me there’s no one that’s above him to speak to fix this. No one I can call. When I stated that there was no rules against her belt, that she had been wearing this belt for years and that they failed to show me any rules against it, he tells me that the rules just changed this past year. Oh really? He also tells me that it’s apart of their rules that technically, I am not even allowed to wear my gym gloves. Gym gloves! That EVERYONE WEARS. But the guy walking past me in the Crocs, is okay. The guy in the yellow cut off shirt, that covers only his very front and the narrow part of his back, is ok (even though I’ve been asked to leave for wearing those types of shirts). The chick that I see every other morning during the week, in a sports bra and NO SHIRT, is okay. The old men in JEANS that I see all the time, they’re fine. But not Amanda. Amanda is INTIMIDATING other members. Amanda, in her leg brace and weight belt. 
I called the customer service number, the girl was speechless and had no resolve for me except that maybe she can have someone call the facility. My sister doesn’t bother anyone. Planet fitness ought to be ASHAMED of themselves for singling out the ONLY
Non Intimidating Human being in that gym today. Amazing how the rules suddenly change (with no proof ANYWHERE) and I have no options to speak with anyone. Way to go, PF. Bet you’re real proud to pick on a disabled girl.

Channel 3 reached out to Planet Fitness. McCall Gosselin, VP of PR & Communications at Planet Fitness Headquarters, issued the following statement to us:

“We sincerely apologize for the unfortunate incident that took place at our Hixson club. In this instance, a staff member misinterpreted a company policy and approached Amanda about her weight belt in error. While the staff’s actions were not malicious in their intent, we are working closely with the franchise owner to reeducate the staff on our current policies and protocols. We have also attempted to contact Amanda directly, to personally convey our sincerest regrets, and hope to welcome her and her sister back to Planet Fitness in the future.”

McCall later updated Channel 3 and said they were able to reach Alicia Rogers and apologize. They also offered the sisters free memberships for life.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • CFD raising money for MDA through "Fill the Boot" fundraiser

    CFD raising money for MDA through "Fill the Boot" fundraiser

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 1:31 PM EDT2018-04-25 17:31:19 GMT
    You'll see almost 400 firefighters with boots in hand at busy intersections around town beginning Thursday. They're asking for any donations you may have for the "Fill the Boot" fundraiser. The money raised goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The More
    You'll see almost 400 firefighters with boots in hand at busy intersections around town beginning Thursday. They're asking for any donations you may have for the "Fill the Boot" fundraiser. The money raised goes to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The More
  • AP-NORC poll: Privacy debacle prompts social-media changes

    AP-NORC poll: Privacy debacle prompts social-media changes

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 8:15 AM EDT2018-04-24 12:15:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 3:10 AM EDT2018-04-26 07:10:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this March 26, 2018, file photo, a man poses for photos in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences pages in San Francisco. If you’ve made changes to how you use social media since Facebook’s Cambridge A...(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File). FILE - In this March 26, 2018, file photo, a man poses for photos in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences pages in San Francisco. If you’ve made changes to how you use social media since Facebook’s Cambridge A...
    AP-NORC poll: Facebook's privacy debacle prompts social-media cutbacks.More
    AP-NORC poll: Facebook's privacy debacle prompts social-media cutbacks.More
  • Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-04-24 07:56:11 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 1:52 AM EDT2018-04-26 05:52:09 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...(AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More

Weather

Powered by Frankly