San Francisco’s four Gold’s Gyms announced on Facebook today that they will be ending their franchise agreement with the company in response to the news that CEO Robert Rowling had donated millions to Karl Rove’s anti-gay American Crossroads PAC. The locally-owned Gold’s still have almost two years on their contract, but have vowed to “match every dollar” in their remaining franchise fees with “equal or greater” donations to LGBT causes.
Gold’s Gym San Francisco has long been a pillar of the gay community. We will continue to be. It is very unfortunate that the CEO of TRT holdings has chosen this course of action. We do not support it in any way. Our original contractual obligations to Gold’s Gym International were signed over 22 years ago and TRT holdings is just the latest in a series of ownership groups that has presided over Gold’s Gym.
Our company has worked for over twenty years to support our LGBT staff, members and community in everyway possible and we will continue to. We were as surprised by Mr. Rowling’s action as anyone but because our company believes in and lives up to the ideals of equality for all we are going to take the following actions:
1: Our contractual obligation with Gold’s Gym expires on September 15th, 2012 and on or prior to that date (our legal counsel is reviewing our options) we will leave the Gold’s Gym brand. It is a major initiative to create a new brand and leave Gold’s Gym which has been our identity for over 20 years but we will begin that process today.
2: For every dollar we pay Gold’s Gym in franchise fees we will donate an equal or greater amount to LGBT charities. While we donate much more than this to charities and community groups that support the LGBT community we want to make a commitment to match or exceed this amount until our relationship with Gold’s Gym can be severed.
And THAT, my buff kittens, is how you run a business. When you drop in after work today, let them know you appreciate it.
(Tipped by JMG reader Lee)