I was recently THROWN OUT of my Planet Fitness location in Belmont, NH, where I have been a member for 7 years, for refusal to wear the Mask of the Beast.
On June 24, I had entered the facility, employed their “touchless” scanner and proceeded to the exercise area where, pursuant to State “guidelines,” masks are not required. I was publicly accosted by staff who yelled at me from across the gym that I “needed to have a mask.” I replied that I was exercising and wasn’t required to have one. They responded that I needed a mask to ENTER the facility. I told them that I was EXERCISING and didn’t need one. At this point, all four staff members present commenced a loud chorus of outrage insisting that I needed to have a mask. I asked if they had one. They said, “No,” and that I would have to leave and get one.
Now, understand that what they were requesting was: that, although I was already in the exercise area about to commence my exercise, which did not require a face mask, but because I took TWO STEPS into the facility without a mask to GET to the exercise area, I was in violation and would have to leave the exercise area and exit, WITHOUT a mask, through the very entryway where they insisted I was required to HAVE a mask, in order to obtain a mask with which I could then re-enter and proceed to the exercise area where I could then REMOVE the mask, in which area I was already standing.
It was abundantly clear that none of the hysteria directed at me had anything to do with a concern for health and was clearly irrational and predicated on intent to impose control, not safety.
CDC guidelines, on which NH “guidelines” are based, make explicit provision to EXEMPT from wearing a mask individuals who have “trouble breathing.” I have had such a condition for more than 50 years. In fact, that is the reason why I go to Planet Fitness in the first place: aerobic exercise is singularly effective in treating and relieving this condition. Planet Fitness staff refused to comply with these provisions and did not even inquire whether there was a problem that prevented mask use.
Further, I returned later that evening for a few brief moments, sans mask, to photograph the “guidelines” they claimed to be following. Although I maintained an appropriate distance, they again flew into a frenzy of outrage at my maskless presence and, in violation of their own pretended concerns, as I departed, the Planet Fitness manager approached me in a threatening and aggressive manner, getting right up in my face, plainly in violation of “social distancing.” She attempted to put her hand on me, but I drew back to avert her action. Such attempted “unprivileged contact” in New Hampshire constitutes misdemeanor assault.
To add insult to injury, the next day Planet Fitness forwarded to me a NO TRESPASS ORDER. Planet Fitness took my money and refuses to provide services, which constitutes both breach of contract and unlawful enrichment [they have collected monies from millions of members around the country while being closed and not providing services, for which they are currently being sued in federal court; see Holloway v. Planet Fitness Franchising LLC, No. 1:20-cv-01868 (N.D. Ga. Apr. 30, 2020)]. In addition, Planet Fitness is engaging in unlawful discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act for “places of public accommodation,” as well as violation of the very “guidelines” they claim to honor.
Planet Fitness’ Regional Customer Service Rep. Holly Spellman refused to return phone calls [(401) 556-8748] or emails [firstname.lastname@example.org] after initially speaking with me.
By these several actions, Planet Fitness has demonstrated contempt for its customers, their liberty, and their well-being.