A gym owner in Orchard Park, New York allegedly sent out a racist, profane email to a customer wanting to get a refund, and CrossFit is cutting ties with him as a result.
Racist email: The woman, whose name was not revealed, sent Robert Dinero, a retired Marine and the owner of Athletes Unleashed, a letter for a $395 refund in July, according to The Buffalo News.
- In his reply, Dinero allegedly called the woman a “filthy, foreign, Third-World country piece of (expletive),” including two other curse words.
- Sibu Nair, an active member of Amherst’s Indian American community, called it “horrible.”
- Speaking to the news outlet, Dinero is confident he did nothing wrong, adding that he would not release the full email unless a reporter met with him in his gym.
- “This is completely out of context, and she is being disingenuous,” he said. “Any of these accusations is disingenuous.”
- Dinero allegedly replied that way thinking the woman’s message to him was another spam email.
Defying COVID-19 restrictions: Dinero gained international attention and through Fox News coverage last week when he organized an event on California Road to defy pandemic restrictions.
- The man tore up his $15,000 government fine in front of the camera.
- It was a gesture of defiance against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order for putting much of Erie County under the “orange zone” that requires businesses within the area to close.
- Around 40 to 50 business owners showed up at the Nov. 20 protest and kicked out a health inspector and sheriff’s deputies.
- The video of the event went viral online after the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., shared the clip on social media.
America needs a lot more of this. The tyrany from democrat politicians is too much. People are fed up of the overreach and the bs. https://t.co/zZlLiqqT3c
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) November 23, 2020
The aftermath: Dinero received a variety of reactions from people after his email made headlines, including losing his affiliation with Crossfit.
- Erie County Legislature Minority Leader Joseph Lorigo took to his Twitter on Nov. 26 to blast Dinero’s “vile and racist statement.”
Just learned of disgusting, vile, and racist statements made by the owner of the gym in OP. I wholeheartedly condemn the statements and behavior.
My stance was solely on the fee—that it was excessive and retaliatory, and I was seeking justification for its issuance.
— Joseph Lorigo (@JosephLorigo) November 25, 2020
- Fitness company CrossFit has also ceased its relationship with the gym owner.
- “We are outraged and appalled by the language used by Mr. Dinero, which has no place in the CrossFit community. When we heard about the issue, we contacted Mr. Dinero, who did not deny using the language in question, so we have terminated his affiliate relationship with CrossFit, effective immediately,” a spokesman told 7 Eyewitness News.
- Dinero has since hired attorney Paul Cambria to file a lawsuit against Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Health Department and the Empire State Development Corporation, alleging Athletes Unleashed’s business has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
- Erie County Comptroller Stefan I. Mychajliw Jr., who launched a GoFundMe to help Dinero with the $15,000 fine, and said he is not backing down in his efforts to support the gym owner. It has since raised over $47,000 of its $100,000 goal, as of this writing.
- As for Dinero’s alleged racist remark, Mychajliw did not elaborate his statement and only said, “any remark believed to be racist is repugnant and abhorrent.”