A woman at a local gym has stirred controversy by "taking a knee" during her workout.
The incident occurred Monday at Astro Fitness, where the woman—whom Dumb Runner is choosing not to identify—is a member. Witnesses said she had just climbed down from a treadmill when the drama unfolded.
"She hops off the treadmill, takes a drink from her water bottle, then starts stretching and stuff," said Gus Grissom, a fellow gymgoer. "Then, out of nowhere, she kneels. Down on one knee. Then stands up. Then right back down, on the other knee."
"This went on for a few solid minutes," he added. "I was appalled."
Taking a knee has become a hot button social issue in recent weeks, as NFL players and others have opted to kneel during the National Anthem to protest police brutality against African-Americans. President Donald Trump has led a counter-movement denouncing the practice as unpatriotic.
The National Anthem wasn't playing Monday, said witnesses, one of whom recalled that the gym's speakers were playing "something by Journey" at the time. Still, they said, they found the display galling.
"Can't we leave politics out of exercise?" asked Annie Glenn, who went to the gym's Facebook page to complain. "I come to Astro Fitness for kettlebells and cardio, not for protests."
Reached for comment, a spokesman for Astro Fitness said that the company "respects the rights of all of our members to exercise free speech so long as it doesn't interfere with their fellow members' ability to enjoy our facility in a safe and healthy manner."
"Get it?" he added. "Exercise?"
The spokesman declined to respond to an online petition calling on Astro Fitness to compel its members to stand while working out.
At least some longtime patrons said they'll find somewhere else to sweat. Videos shared online show three unnamed men and women, clad in workout gear, burning their Astro Fitness membership cards.
"God bless the USA," said one, through tears.