A gym owner has pulled some controversial business cards that sparked a negative reaction on Facebook.
Fitness2Life Health Club, an Armstrong gym, was the recent subject of social media attack due to the cards which promote straight pride.
“It was not to offend anybody, it was just my freedom of expression,” owner Peter Nenasheff said. “Everybody is welcome in my gym.”
While Nenasheff does not even have a Facebook account to see the upset the cards caused, he has received a number of phone calls.
“I’ve been getting everything,” he said of the range from aggression to support in just the 24 hours following the post.
Joshua Schutte shared a photo of the card on his personal Facebook page, which was shared hundreds of times.
“I don’t know how tone deaf you actually have to be to be making this public info/advertising right now but it’s not OK and I’m not here for it,” Schutte said.
Despite pulling the business cards, Schutte is pleased to see people talking about the issue.
“People want change,” he said. “Most important, people don’t want to see that on a business card. Period.”
Meanwhile, the post and business cards have spurred considerable hate.
“It’s frustrating and kind of hurtful in one way,” said Nenasheff, particularly of threats to burn the gym down.
But Schutte said it’s a natural response.
“I’m not promoting or instigating violence in any way whatsoever, I’ll make that very clear. But people are going to have strong feelings about it.”
The cards have actually been out for a long time, nearly two years, so the recent response has caught the gym owner off guard.
“It’s just my personal view, we don’t have a right to judge anybody,” Nenasheff said. “I’m not judging anybody with what I put on that card. I guess maybe I shouldn’t have put it there.”
In fact, the gym has members of all sexual orientations.
“I know I have gay members coming here,” Nenasheff said. “I’m not against anybody, any colour, race, nationality, nothing, everybody is welcome to the gym.”
Fitness2Life Health Club has been a part of Armstrong for 20 years, with Nenasheff taking over ownership 12 years ago.
The owner would like to speak with Schutte, who declined The Morning Star’s attempts to facilitate a conversation.