Sunday, May 26, 2024

Planet Fitness ‘Pretty Much Destroyed’ after Banning Member over Trans Locker Room Policy

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The co-founder of Planet Fitness has denounced the gym’s franchise policy of allowing anatomical men into women’s locker rooms.

During an interview in late March with Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik, Michael Grondahl lamented that Planet Fitness, which he founded alongside his brother Mark Grondahl 1992, is “pretty much destroyed” after the gym banned a member, Patricia Silva, who complained about a trans-identified male using the women’s locker room at her local gym.

Her story went viral in March after the incident took place at Planet Fitness Alaska, The Christian Post reports.

“Planet Fitness was like another child for me. And I put my heart and soul into building that company, and it’s been pretty much destroyed in, you know, it’s lost all respect within the country within the last couple of weeks,” Grondahl said. “There’s no common sense standing behind this.”

He added that he launched Planet Fitness for people who were “intimidated” by fitness centers or were unable to afford the membership of one.

“Back in ’97, we came up with Planet Fitness as a ‘judgment-free zone,'” Grondahl said. “We really made an extreme effort into making it a comfortable place to come to.”

“And now, you fast forward to what’s happening today, and ‘judgement-free zone’ means that, if you’re a man, you can use the women’s locker room,” he continued. “Just insane.”

After Silva’s membership was revoked, one of her friends reportedly saw a staffer accompany the trans-identified woman into the women’s locker room. The friend also said that the staffer told her that she can go into a stall if seeing the ‘male’ in there made her uncomfortable.

Silva also posted a video after her membership was revoked, noting that a 12-year-old girl in a towel was in the locker room and was “freaked out” over the individual’s presence.

“To be honest, I have a daughter, and had I been in the facility and heard what was going on, I’d want to go in there and freaking take the guy by the neck and throw him out on the parking lot,” Grondahl said. 

In 2012, Grondahl sold Planet Fitness to a private equity company and remained CEO until he alleged to have been removed after he reported that one attorney with the firm was charged with abusing children.

Pastor and CrosswalkHeadlines contributor Shane Idleman shared this related video from his own Instagram account.

“He pleaded guilty to sexual crimes, and we found more people when I sent investigators to [North Carolina]. …They found more people that he had abused,” Grondahl said.

“I bring it to the private equity company that just bought us, and they basically showed me the door,” he continued.

The co-founder also noted that a majority of the Planet Fitness board were aware that the man was a pedophile, stating “it’s the culture.”

“It started at the corporate office. This attorney started abusing employees, then he’s abusing them sexually, now the culture leads into the people doing the right thing are being thrown out of Planet Fitness,” he said. 

According to Bezinga, the attorney left Planet Fitness in 2017.

Following Silva’s revocation of her membership last month, Planet Fitness stock has dropped nearly 8 percent, after having been in a freefall since January. On the other hand, the company’s stock price went up to $63 per share as of Wednesday after dropping to $54 per share in March.

Image credit: ©Sven Mieke/Unsplash

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.

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