A Missouri man is upset that he was confronted at a gym he usually frequents after he showed up wearing a Donald Trump shirt.
Jake Talbot has visited CDY Fitness in Troy, Missouri, for the last eight years but on Sunday, Jan. 20, he decided he won’t be coming back. His shirt read “2016 Trump for President,” but the gym owner, Liz Burke, said fellow gym members expressed their discomfort with the top. Because of that, she asked him not to wear it again. She did not ask him to remove it or leave.
“I said, ‘Jake, we’re friends and I love you, but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t wear that shirt in the future,’” she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“‘It represents racism and it’s racist to have that shirt,'” Talbot, an Army veteran and member of the National Guard recalled to KSDK of what Burke told him. He continued to work out and then he left. On his way home, he posted a video on Facebook detailing his experience.
“It’s a free country, that’s what I fight for so I love this country,” Talbot tells the news station. “I’m very patriotic.”
“Everybody needs to support him,” he adds of his allegiance to Trump. “I’m tired of the split, the divide, in the whole country. We need to come together.”
He added that he’s tired of the word “racism” and that everyone needs to “just stop” discussing it.
“That’s long gone, it’s passed,” he said.
Meanwhile, Talbot’s Facebook post had nabbed him a free membership at another gym in town. And while CDY’s owner did not want to do an interview with the station, she sent a statement sharing her feelings.
“I have much respect for all our service members. I regret that some were offended by this misunderstanding. I was simply attempting to ensure that all my members felt safe and unthreatened,” said Burke, who wound up deleting the gym’s Facebook page after being inundated with hateful messages. They included ones threatening to burn down the establishment, according to the local CBS station.
Posted by Jake Talbot on Sunday, January 20, 2019