Wisconsin gym apologizes after promoting an 'I can't breathe' workout following George Floyd's death
© WISN12

A gym apologized this week after one of its Wisconsin locations displayed a plan for a workout titled “I can’t breathe” that included an image of a person kneeling in the wake of the death of George Floyd

The workout drill was drawn on a whiteboard at an Anytime Fitness location in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, west of Milwaukee. The phrase “… and don’t you dare lay down” was also written on the board. 

Photos of the workout spread quickly on social media and were widely criticized Tuesday, NBC15 reported. The Anytime Fitness co-founders and brand president said in a Wednesday statement that they were “shocked and devastated” after seeing the workout.

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“No matter the intent, we absolutely do not condone the words, illustrations or actions this represents. To our employees, owners and members, we are truly and profoundly sorry that this incident occurred,” the statement said.

“One of our publicly-stated commitments to antiracism work is to bolster training efforts for our franchise owners to lead with empathy, love and respect. This incident makes it clear that we have work to do in this space,” the statement continued.

Floyd died last month in Minneapolis, Minn., after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest. His death has sparked protests across the country calling for widespread police and justice reform.

The co-founders issued a separate statement on Twitter saying that the franchise owner of the Wisconsin gym “has taken full responsibility for the actions of his location.” The trainer who “created and promoted” the workout “has been placed on leave and his employment status is under review."

The general manager and co-owner of the gym, Jen Dunnington, also apologized on Facebook

“One of the publicly-stated commitments to antiracism work by the owner of the Anytime Fitness brand, Self Esteem Brands, is to bolster education efforts for its franchise owners to lead with empathy, love and respect,” Dunnington said. “We obviously have work to do within our own location, and we will work hard to earn back your trust and respect. We stand with our black community, and again, we are so very sorry for this insensitive move.”