An Atlanta area police officer has challenged the cop-hating owner of the of a local gym to a boxing match, NBC 11Alive reported Thursday.
The owner, Jim Chambers, recently posted a sign in front of the EAV Barbell Club that said “no f*cking cops” and not only refused to apologize, but clarified to the media that military vets are not welcome either.
The handwritten sign read: “RULES: DO WHATEVER THE H*LL YOU WANT, CORRECTLY, EXCEPT CROSSFIT CULTISM – NO F*CKING COPS.” He took it down — only because he thought the profanity might be offensive. He promised to replace the sign with the same message sans the vulgarities.
Chambers told 11Alive that he doesn’t “want to make the police stronger so they can hurt people more efficiently.”
The anti-cop activist has been weathering a firestorm of disapproval ever since 11Alive reported on his “no f*cking cops” policy.
And some of the backlash has reportedly spilled onto another East Atlanta gym.
Village Fitness has been in the East Atlanta Village community for much longer. They have received calls and people walking in, asking them about the “no cop” sign since hearing about the story on Tuesday.
“I’m like, wait a second — that’s definitely not us,” said Tara Perry of Village Fitness. “We do not feel that way.”
Village Fitness is around the corner from EAV Barbell Club, but their policies couldn’t be more different. While EAV Barbell Club wants no cops on their premises, Village Fitness welcomes them.
To make their message even more clear, Village Fitness put out a sign on Wednesday — in front of the building for gym members and passersby to see.
It says “We Support Police and Our Military.”
EAV Barbell Club owner Jim Chambers, on the other hand, considers those who “put a uniform on” as “an occupying enemy army.”
The viral story spurred a local cop to challenge Chambers to a boxing match in an effort to sort things out mano a mano.
In an email sent into 11Alive’s newsroom, Tommy Lefever said he’d like to challenge the gym’s owner, Jim Chambers, to a match at an upcoming boxing event. So, we reached out to Lefever to talk to him about the offer.
“He seems like he might enjoy getting the opportunity to punch a cop in the face and I’d be happy to oblige him and give him that opportunity,” the Fayetteville, Georgia resident said.
The seven-year police veteran told 11Alive that he hopes the boxing match will change Chambers’ mind about the police.
“I found, you sweat, you bleed with somebody, you exchange punches with somebody in a sport like boxing, it’s hard not to respect the guy for getting in there with you afterwards,” he said.
While it may not be duked out as Ali versus Foreman’s “Rumble in the Jungle,” Lefever said it’s not about breaking a nose, but about bridging a gap.
“Gaining mutual respect for one another in the boxing ring might be the start of something that can help overcome differences in worldview, ideology, what have you,” he explained. “There’s more work to be done, and I’d love to, if there’s anything I can do to help make that connection, then it’s totally worth it to get in the ring with a guy and make it happen.”
When told about Lefever’s challenge, Chambers only laughed. And projected.
He said he wanted to know if it would be a fair fight before he accepted.
Lefever said the challenge is “on the table” and that “he’d love to start a conversation and see where it goes.”