If you're not familiar with this story, get ready. It's going to be big national news soon. Here' s a quick recap: So in the wake of the Target and Best Buy fiascos, the CEO of the company that owns Gold's Gym made a $2 million donation to a very anti-gay political group last week. And needless to say, that pissed off a lot of people, including the largely gay clienteles of several San Francisco-area Golds Gyms. And these specific gyms, which are franchised and not corporately owned, have been HUGE supporters of the gay community. I even went to a Gold's Gym-sponsored circuit party during Folsom this year in San Francisco.
So how did the owners of the SF-area Gold's Gyms respond? Brilliantly. Today they announced that they're ditching the Golds Gym brand and will be matching every dollar they still owe corporate to LGBT charities. So if you're a member, be sure to show them some appreciation. It takes a lot of heart to make a big ballsy business move like this so quickly. And they did. Kudos to them. They're full statement reads as follows:
Gold's Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way. Our original contractual obligations to Gold's Gym International were signed over 22 years ago and TRT holdings is just the latest in a series of ownership groups that has presided over Gold's Gym.Read more about this story at the Advocate.
Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in everyway possible and we will continue to. We were as surprised by Mr. Rowling's action as anyone but because our company believes in and lives up to the ideals of equality for all we are going to take the following actions:
1: Our contractual obligation with Gold's Gym expires on September 15th, 2012 and on or prior to that date (our legal counsel is reviewing our options) we will leave the Gold's Gym brand. It is a major initiative to create a new brand and leave Gold's Gym which has been our identity for over 20 years but we will begin that process today.
2: For every dollar we pay Gold's Gym in franchise fees we will donate an equal or greater amount to LGBT charities. While we donate much more than this to charities and community groups that support the LGBT community we want to make a commitment to match or exceed this amount until our relationship with Gold's Gym can be severed.