Jesse Lee Peterson

News

Oct 27, 2017 by Alyssa Duvall

Pastor Banned For Life from LA Gym For Supporting Donald Trump

Equinox Sports Club, a high-end LA gym, kicked out a member and black pastor and banned him for life because a white employee overheard him expressing his support of President Donald Trump.

The pastor, Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson, claims the gym worker, whom he had never met, charged at him in a “physically threatening manner” and “coming within inches of his face”, the Daily Caller reports.

Rev. Peterson is now seeking an official apology and civil damages from Equinox.

The incident began while Peterson was discussing racial issues and defending Trump during a live broadcast of the Bill Cunningham radio show from his mobile phone in a utility closet at Equinox. Peterson’s attorney, Anthony Kohrs, says that Peterson had conducted such broadcasts from the gym for some time: “He had been making semi-frequent radio appearances by phone from that gym for six years. He finds a spot where there isn’t a lot of background noise. He never had a problem. He’s even been given permission by employees to use their offices.”

On August 11th, however, Peterson was overheard in the closet by one employee who panicked and summoned a second employee, who identified himself to Peterson as “Scott”. Scott allegedly demanded that Peterson leave the gym and told him that his membership was permanently terminated effective immediately. “Scott” — who reportedly described himself as an Equinox manager — refused to allow Peterson to speak to anyone else and initially offered no explanation for his decision.

According to Peterson, he responded by saying he did not understand why he was being asked to leave or why his his membership was being revoked. At this point the confrontation became intense when Scott “got right in his face” and yelled, “you support Donald Trump,” according to Kohrs. When confirming his membership termination, Peterson found that the only reason given was “his political views and support for the current President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” Kohrs said.

Kohrs told TheDC that he believes Equinox violated Peterson’s civil rights.

“Nothing I can think of that he could be accused of would warrant violence or a lifetime ban,” the attorney said.

Kohrs said that among reparations sought by Peterson, reinstatement of his gym membership is not one of them: “He doesn’t want his membership back. He feels humiliated. He’s very troubled that his civil rights were violated. He doesn’t want this to happen to other people.”

“I grew up under Jim Crow laws,” Peterson told the Daily Caller. “I have never been treated that way in my life.”



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