Who owns Flex Fitness? NC gym kicks Mexican family out of pool for playing Spanish music
A Mexican family was kicked out of a pool at Flex Fitness and Recreation Center in Hendersonville, North Carolina for playing Spanish music. A video of the incident of apparent racial discrimination was shared by Bianca Figueroa (@esposatoxica) on TikTok where it quickly went viral getting more than six million views.
The video shows the Mexican family being confronted by a police officer who showed up at the venue. A woman in red, from the Mexican family, then explains what had transpired at the gym. She told the officer, “it hurts me to see the inequality and racism. I will explain to you what happened, and we will leave because I understand your job; you’re an employee," according to the English overlay description of her speech. The woman then possibly referred to the other patrons of the pool when she said, “She’s had music in English, and she says nothing. But we had Spanish music, and she came with a bad attitude and disconnected our speaker and tried to take it with her.”
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Racism is not ok!!— ✨Mare✨ (@EditsByMare) July 13, 2021
When I tell you that the reviews 💀😭 did not disappoint
Flex fitness and Recreation: NC.
People saying “they threw me in the pool for speaking Spanish” dead!!
👏🏼 no juegues con fuego porque te quemas 🗣 pic.twitter.com/To3Z19PeNg
The woman said that one of the White women at the pool had complained about the music. Then she explained, “You know why she called you? Because I told [the owner] ‘you’re not a businesswoman. You’re not intellectual because we are paying customers.’ She should’ve come to us like you did, and said ‘please turn off your music.’ But no, she came with an attitude and forcibly disconnected our speakers." The woman added that they would take the owner to court, but were “leaving for you. Because I respect you, not for her.”
Who owns Flex Fitness?
According to a local news report from September, last year, the owner of Flex Fitness and Recreation Center is Tangi Brown. Speaking to WYFF News 4, she said that the gym closed in late March due to the pandemic but she reopened her business again in May 2020, defying North Carolina Gov Roy Cooper's mandate to close commercial businesses due to the global health crisis.
Brown said that the sheriff gave her permission to operate. However, when the news station contacted the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Maj Frank Stout said the agency had not specifically allowed any business to open. That being said, the sheriff's department was not strictly enforcing the governor's executive order. As a result, any gyms open were expected to maintain social distancing and frequently sanitize surfaces.
“If we had to stay shut down until now, we would have never survived it," Brown said. “Families are losing their businesses, just like my family could have lost this business. It’s sad, because a lot of people work really hard to have what they have and it’s their life and their life is gone. They’ve lost that.”
Flex Fitness allegedly bashing people
In a follow-up video, Figueroa claimed that the owners of Flex Fitness were “bashing” people who defended the Mexican family. She drew the viewers' attention to a comment under her first TikTok, allegedly posted by the daughter of the owner, where the latter claimed that a Mexican woman called her a “White b***h.” Figueroa said that the Mexican woman was reacting to a racial clur used against her first.
Following the incident, Flex Fitness and Recreation Center has been bombed with one-star reviews on Yelp and Google, with humorous “I got kicked out” explanations. “I got kicked out because I opened a bag of nacho cheese Doritos and was told the only acceptable flavor was cool ranch,” said one comment. Another said: “I was wearing a Virgen de Guadalupe necklace, and they threw bleach on me while saying 10 Hail Marys. DO NOT RECOMMEND!” the establishment has also disabled its Facebook page.
A GoFundMe page was established to help Veronica Ramirez and the Mexican family find representation and so far has raised more than $12K toward the $100K goal. “Our goal is to accomplish equality in Henderson County and all surrounding areas that happen to come across this page. As well as to provide the funds necessary for representation and relocation in this matter,” the GoFundMe page said.