Dina Asher-Smith slams PureGym’s ‘12 years a Slave’ workout post: ‘I am shocked, hurt, stunned and confused’

Asher Smith has said the work out post 'shocked and stunned' her
Asher Smith has said the work out post 'shocked and stunned' her (PA)
10:03am, Tue 06 Oct 2020
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

British athlete Dina Asher-Smith has criticised PureGym after one of its branches posted a ‘12 years a Slave’ workout on social media as a celebration for Black History Month.

The gym posted the work-out to Facebook with the tag line ‘Slavery was hard and so is this’. The business has now said the post was ’wholly unacceptable’ and has launched an investigation.

Asher-Smith, who is a brand ambassador for the company, says was ‘shocked’ at how anyone thought it would be appropriate to upload the post.

She wrote on Twitter: "'Slavery was hard and so is this’. I am shocked, hurt, stunned and confused that someone would think it appropriate to use the enslavement and brutal torture of generations of Black people to characterise a workout.

"I am in disbelief that somebody thought this was okay. I understand that this came from an individual who had gone against corporate protocol and this was not a PureGym sanctioned post or workout.

"Nevertheless, this should not have happened. This is exactly why diversity and inclusion training is so important for all companies and PureGym policies must be tightened so that there is approval over what goes out under their name.

“Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter movement have shown why we need to have widespread honest and unfiltered education around Black History. It is so important for everyone to understand why is it so offensive and inappropriate to make this allusion.”

PureGym, which has the UK’s largest membership, also said yesterday all 271 of their gyms run their social media individually.

Their statement in reaction to the post read: "PureGym apologises unreservedly for a post regarding Black History Month that was made today by our gym in Luton & Dunstable.

"This post was wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed when it was brought to our attention.

"We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made. Thank you to those people who commented on this post and for raising this with us."

Black History Month takes place throughout October.

Sign up to our newsletter