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Two black men who had cops called on them at LA Fitness gym break silence on how they were racially profiled

Gym member Rachid Maiga, 27, (left, on NBC) visited LA Fitness, in Secaucus, New Jersey, with friend Tshyrad Oates, 25, (right) on a guest pass, when they were ordered to leave

  • Gym member Rachid Maiga, 27, visited LA Fitness, in Secaucus, New Jersey, with friend Tshyrad Oates, 25, on a guest pass, when they were ordered to leave 
  • 'It was humiliating,' said Maiga. 'We're sitting there and everyone in the gym is looking at us like, 'What's going on?''
  • They say they were racially profiled by employees when they were the only black people in the gym that day 
  • The manager of the LA Fitness that kicked out two black men has now been fired 
  • In a Facebook post on April 16, Tshyrad Oates said that he had used a four-day guest pass to workout with his friend, who was a member for eight years  
  • Despite repeatedly proving that they had proper access, Oates claims that the manager asked them to leave and called the cops on them 
  • A statement from LA Fitness admitted there was a misunderstanding 
  • It said: 'We have spoken to the member to apologize and assure him that he and his guests are welcome in our clubs at all times' 

Two black men who had the police called on them when they tried to use a gym have spoken out about the 'humiliating' experience.

Long-time LA Fitness member Rachid Maiga, 27, had been visiting the Secaucus, New Jersey location, with friend Tshyrad Oates, 25, who was using a guest pass, when they were ordered to leave by a manager.

When the pair refused, the white LA Fitness employee called the cops.

'She's telling me I'm not a member. She's not asking me. She's telling me I'm not a member,' Maiga told NBC. 'I'm telling her that I AM a member, and she's like, 'If you guys don't get out of here, we're going to call the police.'

'It was humiliating,' said Maiga. 'We're sitting there and everyone in the gym is looking at us like, 'What's going on?'' 

Gym member Rachid Maiga, 27, (left, on NBC) visited LA Fitness, in Secaucus, New Jersey, with friend Tshyrad Oates, 25, (right) on a guest pass, when they were ordered to leave

Gym member Rachid Maiga, 27, (left, on NBC) visited LA Fitness, in Secaucus, New Jersey, with friend Tshyrad Oates, 25, (right) on a guest pass, when they were ordered to leave

'It was humiliating,' said Maiga. 'We're sitting there and everyone in the gym is looking at us like, 'What's going on?''

'It was humiliating,' said Maiga. 'We're sitting there and everyone in the gym is looking at us like, 'What's going on?''

Video of the encounter with the gym staff has since gone viral and the manager, and two other employees involved, have been fired after they were accused of racially profiling the two black gym members.

'I'm not the type of person that likes to put my problems out there,' said Maiga. 'This has happened to me before, racial profiling. Like, I'm just already ready to bite the bullet. Then my friend put it online and I'm glad he did, because it brought awareness to it.' 

LA Fitness representatives have also reached out to Oates and Maiga, offering Maiga three months free membership.

But Maiga said he had no interest in returning. 

'Racism is there, it's every day,' said Oates on NBC 'And people try to say it's getting worse. The only difference is it's being recorded now'

'Racism is there, it's every day,' said Oates on NBC 'And people try to say it's getting worse. The only difference is it's being recorded now'

Maiga, who appeared on NBC with Oates, said he had been offered free membership at the gym but wasn't interested in returning

Maiga, who appeared on NBC with Oates, said he had been offered free membership at the gym but wasn't interested in returning

'I don't feel welcome, no,' he said.   

Oates added that he and Maiga had visited the gym on April 16, but within minutes, they were asked to leave. 

'After about a half hour I was approached by this same employee telling me that I had to leave or pay and I explained to her that I just signed in with her with the guest pass,' wrote Oates. 

'She stated that it was my friend who did not pay', he continued. 

The friends refused to leave. 

'We have nothing to hide, we did nothing wrong,' said Maiga.

The pair continued with their workout until two police officers arrived and asked why they had no memberships. 

'We explained to them about our guest pass and rescanned my friend's member tag and it resulted in current active status,' Oates stated, adding that the employee said nothing when they saw the status. 

An employee from the LA Fitness in Secaucus, New Jersey, has claimed that the manager who had two black men removed from the gym has been 'removed from the company'

An employee from the LA Fitness in Secaucus, New Jersey, has claimed that the manager who had two black men removed from the gym has been 'removed from the company'

In a Facebook post on April 16, Tshyrad Oates (pictured) shared that he used a four day guest pass to workout with his friend, who was already a long standing member at the Secaucus, New Jersey location of LA Fitness
In a Facebook post on April 16, Tshyrad Oates shared that he used a four day guest pass to workout with his friend (pictured), who was already a long standing member at the Secaucus, New Jersey location of LA Fitness

In a Facebook post on April 16, Tshyrad Oates (right) shared that he used a four day guest pass to workout with his friend, who was already a long standing member at the Secaucus, New Jersey location of LA Fitness

Proceeding on with their workout for an additional 10 minutes, Oates claims that the pair were then asked to leave by the LA Fitness manager.

At this point five police officers asked them to leave.

Oates concluded: 'This LA Fitness manager who refused to give us his reason to kicking us out, and refused to give us his name stated that I was banned from the gym and my friend's gym membership has been terminated effective immediately.' 

The pair had begun filming in the gym as they said they were not sure they would be believed if not.

'Let's make this a black thing,' Maiga said in one of the videos, panning the camera to show an almost empty gym. 'We are the only two black people in the gym. Been having problems in the gym for months over nothing.' 

The manager claimed the two men did not have the correct memberships, despite one being a member for eight years and the other using a four-day pass. 

Throughout the video clips, the manager can be seen growing more irate and demanding that the camera stop recording. 

Oates claims that they were repeatedly harassed by staff (pictured) and management who said they didn't pay to use the facilities
The branch also claimed that they weren't members even though video shows their scanner flashing green when the man's membership card goes over

Oates claims that they were repeatedly harassed by staff (pictured) and management who said they didn't pay to use the facilities. The branch also claimed that they weren't members even though video shows their scanner flashing green when the man's membership card goes over

Throughout the video clips, the manager can be seen growing more irate and demanding that the camera stop recording. 'I get it you guys don't like cell phones but it is not criminal activity,' an officer can be heard telling the manager (center)
Throughout the video clips, the manager can be seen growing more irate and demanding that the camera stop recording. 'I get it you guys don't like cell phones but it is not criminal activity,' an officer can be heard telling the manager (center)

Throughout the video clips, the manager can be seen growing more irate and demanding that the camera stop recording. 'I get it you guys don't like cell phones but it is not criminal activity,' an officer can be heard telling the manager (center)

'He was like, 'You can't record in here,' and he tried to make that the reason why they were terminating me,' said Maiga. 'Like, 'Now you definitely have to go because you're recording and breaking rules.''

'Even police asked him for an explanation, and he had nothing to tell police. None of them, not one of those members had something to tell police,' he said.

'I get it you guys don't like cell phones but it is not criminal activity,' an officer can be heard telling the manager.  

'All the officers acted professionally and quelled what could have been a volatile situation,' Secaucaus Police Department Captain Dennis Miller told DailyMail.com.

Capt. Miller added that people are allowed to film officers in public spaces.

He also said that neither of the two men were arrested for the incident.   

The original videos have now been seen millions of times.  

'Let's make this a black thing,' the friend said in one of the videos, panning the camera to show an almost empty gym. 'We are the only two black people in the gym. Been having problems in the gym for months over nothing'

'Let's make this a black thing,' the friend said in one of the videos, panning the camera to show an almost empty gym. 'We are the only two black people in the gym. Been having problems in the gym for months over nothing'

Oates concluded: 'This La Fitness manager who refused to give us his reason to kicking us out, and refused to give us his name stated that I was banned from the gym and my friend’s gym membership has been terminated effective immediately'

Oates concluded: 'This La Fitness manager who refused to give us his reason to kicking us out, and refused to give us his name stated that I was banned from the gym and my friend's gym membership has been terminated effective immediately'

LA Fitness said in a statement to DailyMail.com: 'The front desk staff employee was confused and thought the member was a guest. He explained that he was a member, had checked in earlier, and did not want to retrieve his membership card a second time. The front desk employee who made the request was not working when this member checked in the first time, so she was unaware. 

'Regrettably, from there our staff unnecessarily escalated the situation and called the police rather than work through it. Clearly, this is a long time member, with a current, valid membership. We want to clarify that no membership was cancelled and no one, including the member's guest, was banned from the club. 

Oates took to Facebook on Wednesday to share an update and that while he and his friend have contacted LA Fitness Corporate, they have 'yet to receive any written statement from LA Fitness'

Oates took to Facebook on Wednesday to share an update and that while he and his friend have contacted LA Fitness Corporate, they have 'yet to receive any written statement from LA Fitness'

'We have spoken to the member to apologize and assure him that he and his guests are welcome in our clubs at all times.

'We are currently exploring potential training content and opportunities to better train our staff.'  

But for Maiga and Oates, they say wanted to see more action taken to tackle stories of racism. Their story came shortly after two black men were arrested in a Starbucks, while waiting for their friend, for loitering.

'Racism is there, it's every day,' said Oates. 'And people try to say it's getting worse. The only difference is it's being recorded now.'

'We have to say something, continue to speak up, not be nervous to have this conversation. We want people to talk about it until they realize it's wrong. We're two educated young males in America,' he said. 'We just happen to be black.'

'I'm just tired of it. It happens all the time,' Maiga said. 'And it's always brushed off like it's not gonna be such a big deal because not everybody understands it.'

FULL STATEMENT FROM LA FITNESS AFTER VIRAL VIDEO SHOWED STAFF CALLING POLICE ON A BLACK GYM MEMBER

For over 30 years, people of all races have been welcome in our clubs. We do ask for a Membership card or ID to gain entry. The front desk staff employee was confused and thought the member was a guest. He explained that he was a member, had checked in earlier, and did not want to retrieve his membership card a second time. The front desk employee who made the request was not working when this member checked in the first time, so she was unaware. Regrettably, from there our staff unnecessarily escalated the situation and called the police rather than work through it. Clearly, this is a long time member, with a current, valid membership. We want to clarify that no membership was cancelled and no one, including the member’s guest, was banned from the club. We have spoken to the member to apologize and assure him that he and his guests are welcome in our clubs at all times. We are currently exploring potential training content and opportunities to better train our staff.

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Comment by Lionel Neil on May 9, 2018 at 9:26pm
Bother you know what,take him to court and let him pay you back all that money they take like from you for all the year u been going their ,since he dont want u their
Comment by Jovis Charles on April 30, 2018 at 4:16pm
Secaucus, New Jersey??? Imposible. You could look at the White Manager and know she don't she aint giving men a damn chance no how. And so she's not in a generous mood. Out you go, you women stealers!!!
Comment by Lori Graham on April 27, 2018 at 4:18pm

Racism at it's finest 

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