Bay Area gym slammed for racist, anti-Asian posts

Island Personal Training, a small Northern California gym chain with locations in Alameda and Redding owned by Jason Wilson, is being called out for a page on its website that promotes massage services and includes racist language aimed at Asian Americans.

The gym’s website is currently offline (and their Instagram account also appears to have been made private), but ABC 7 reports that the page made a special note to promote that the gym’s massage therapists “speak English. …a bit rare for the terrain around these rooms,” and added that the gym isn’t like “sleazy Asian massage parlors.”

Additionally, in a Facebook post on Redding’s site page last May, Island Personal Training accused nearby massage parlors in the area of ​​operating as “brothels.” The post also said that unlike other massage parlors nearby, Island Personal Training is “not a dark and/or dirty place that smells like Chinese food.”

The racist posts were first reported in a Facebook group with more than 100 members, ABC 7 reports, and have since received attention from STOPAAPIHate, a nonprofit that tracks incidents of hate and hate. discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. .

“The kind of racist rhetoric and comments add to the persistent stereotypes that are not only offensive but really put communities at risk,” Cynthia Choi, one of the founders of STOPAAPIHate, told ABC 7.

Choi, who is also the executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, linked the gymnasium language to the shootings at three Atlanta-area spas and massage parlors last March that left eight people dead, including six Asian women, and another injured person. The shooter, who later pleaded guilty to 23 counts and was sentenced to life without parole, initially blamed his violence on a sex addiction.

“It’s very triggering considering what happened with the shooting in the Atlanta area. We’re approaching this anniversary where Asian women and businesses were targeted,” Choi told ABC 7.

Since ABC 7’s initial story, the gym’s Yelp page has been flooded with 1-star reviews, examples of obnoxious customer interactions and calls for the company to be shut down.

Owner Jason Wilson could not be reached for comment.

Anti-Asian hate crimes have skyrocketed both in the Bay Area and across the country during the pandemic. Reported hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders rose 567% in 2021, according to preliminary numbers released by the San Francisco Police Department late last month. The actual increase is likely higher, as not all victims report their incidents to the police.

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