The owners of a popular gym in one Broward County city said they saw over a dozen members quit after two flags - a rainbow Pride flag and one honoring the Black Lives Matter movement - were hung from the ceiling.
"We lost 14 members in a matter of a few days," said Adam Nadler, the co-owner of CrossFit Immersion in Coral Springs. "We had a lot of people messaging us saying they don’t want to be in a place that is making a political statement and that was not our intention at all. As a CrossFit gym and as a human, we’re supporting a movement."
Nadler said the decision to hang the flags was a personal one. The pride flag was to honor his late grandfather, who was gay, while the Black Lives Matter flag was hung on the anniversary of the death of George Floyd for his bi-racial children.
"It’s just about supporting equal human rights and that’s all," said Nadler, who added he wanted his children to know what he stands for. "I want equality for everybody and if I believe in that and this is my facility, then I want people to know that."
After getting some heat from members, the NBA's Miami Heat came through to show support.
"We knew right away we wanted to reach out to them, show them some support and let them know that the Heat had their back," said Michael McCullough, the team's Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.
The team sent its mascot, Burnie, to the gym and surprised everyone with free items and a day to remember.
"We really feel that we have a responsibility to this community for all the support that we’ve been given to use our platform to shine a light on people who are trying to do good things," said McCullough.
For Nadler, he said it was an incredible experience and the gym's membership is now growing.
"That’s the type of people that we are and that’s the type of gym that we want to have," he said. "We want people to come in here and feel safe and have a good place to work out, regardless of what they believe in."