PureGym slammed for launching slavery-based workout for Black History Month


PureGym has now apologised and removed the post (Picture: PureGym)

PureGym has been criticised for launching a ‘slavery-based’ fitness class as part of their Black History Month celebrations.

The workout was advertised on the Facebook page for PureGym’s Luton & Dunstable branch, and the class itself is called ’12 Years Of Slave’, inspired by the Oscar-winning 2013 film with a similar title.

The Facebook post, which has now been deleted, read; ‘Slavery was hard and so is this,’ and the workout itself includes short sprints, burpees, deadlifts and other challenging moves.

‘Entitled “12YearsOfSlave” (after the epic movie) this is our workout of the month designed by @mattsimpt to celebrate black history month,’ read the advert posted on the gym’s social media page.

‘Slavery was hard and so is this.

‘The twist to this is 1 rep of your 1st exercise, 2 of the second but before you move on to the 3rd exercise, which is also 3 reps, you must start at the beginning to move on. AND that’s how the entire workout goes.’

However, lots of people don’t think that creating a workout based on the challenges of slavery is the best way the celebrate Black History Month. In fact, many people who have seen the advert are extremely offended.

‘Oh wow this is embarrassing – please delete this, take some diversity training for all your staff and replace with a long and detailed apology!!!’ Wrote one gym-goer.

‘Pure Gym must have an offensively tone deaf marketing team thinking it is acceptable to compare a workout to slavery ffs,’ added another.

Someone else asked: ‘Please tell me you are not seriously equating going to the gym with the horrors of the slave trade?!’

Plenty of angry people in the comments are keen for the gym to issue an apology about the post, and others pointed out that a better way to celebrate Black History Month would be to train staff effectively about issues of diversity.

Just hours before posting the advert for the ’12 Years Of Slave’ workout, the Luton & Dunstable gym posted an inspirational message about celebrating Black History on its Facebook page – this has also been deleted.

‘The profile of racial indifference has never been higher for some of us,’ read the post. ‘We can only hope for change but while we do, this month let us profile the life changers that have made so many things for us possible.’

The post was accompanied with a picture of Martin Luther King with his famous ‘I have a dream’ quote.

A representative from PureGym told Metro.co.uk that the company ‘apologises unreservedly’ for the Facebook post.

‘This post is wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed as soon as it was brought to our attention,’ they say.

‘Each of our 271 gyms has its own social media channels which are run locally. We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made.’

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Get in touch: metrolifestyleteam@metro.co.uk.

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Black History Month

October marks Black History Month, which reflects on the achievements, cultures and contributions of black people in the UK and across the globe, as well as educating others about the diverse history of those from African and Caribbean descent.

For more information about the events and celebrations that are taking place this year, visit the official Black History Month website.





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