Blue Ridge CrossFit owner Tom Tomlo Jr. caused outrage this week when he posted a video that includes shots of women's rear ends under which he had commented "Dayum!" and "Hump Day." He also added some ‘inappropriate’ emoticons.
The shots of the women bending over while exercising and wearing tight workout pants were in this manner hyper-sexualized and the outrage of his gym members quickly followed.
In a matter of hours, some 850 people had offered reviews of Blue Ridge CrossFit which subsequently dropped the gym's rating to 1.5 stars out of a possible 5 whilst many left blistering comments.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">How can women feel safe anywhere these days. This is the owner of Blue Ridge Crossfit, Tom Tomlo Jr's response to being called out for objectifying women. FB Anna Pirog <a href="https://twitter.com/Alyssa_Milano?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Alyssa_Milano</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MeTooMVMT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MeTooMVMT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Wellesley?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Wellesley</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/metoo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@metoo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/SenGillibrand?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SenGillibrand</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Commonswomequ?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Commonswomequ</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/metoo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#metoo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TianaTheFirst?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TianaTheFirst</a> RT <a href="https://t.co/WaLPGfMhAR">pic.twitter.com/WaLPGfMhAR</a></p>— Wolverines (@wolverines1984) <a href="https://twitter.com/wolverines1984/status/952913494273417216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">January 15, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Arden resident Miss Amanda Turlington was featured in the video and stated: "To me, it’s disgusting,"
"Here we have women in a vulnerable position, and what does he do? He takes the opportunity to take video where we're all inverted and you have no idea what we're doing, and he takes that when we can't tell what he's doing, and then posts that inappropriate video and inappropriate hashtags on the image of our bodies on Instagram for everyone to see."
Miss Turlington decided to quit Blue Ridge CrossFit on Tuesday afternoon after meeting with Mr Tomlo.
Mr Tomlo made matters worse afterward by publicly stating that he refused to apologize for the pictures: "It has been brought to my attention that some people chose to get butthurt today and make a public post in this group."
He went on suggesting that if members are upset they should "find a place that is a better fit for you."
"Creating some sort of delusional and ignorant drama is not your option here."
However, by now he has backtracked on those earlier statements as he realized the online publicity hurt business.