Despite its bold name, there is one thing the founders of Toronto’s Fearless Boxing Club seem to be scared of: vaccinated people.
According to an Instagram post, the gym’s vaccine policy states that people who’ve “received the experimental Covid vaccine” will no longer be accepted as members.
The policy states the gym’s current members include doctors, nurses, teachers, parents, and youth who “feel safer waiting until more research is done on the side effects being discovered right now.”
All of the COVID-19 vaccines being used in Canada were approved by Health Canada and subject to large clinical trials that showed their safety and efficacy. According to the City of Toronto, the vaccines “met the same safety and quality standards required for all vaccines. No steps were skipped in the approval process.”
According to blogTO, Fearless Studios was founded by professional boxer Mohammad Abedeen and professional dancer Krystal Glazier-Rosco. Its Instagram bio states that the business was “BUILT in the lockdown, OPENED in the lockdown. & WE’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!”
Its Instagram page, which has around 2,500 followers, also includes a section called “Covid Bull,” seemingly complaining about masks and lockdowns.
Recent Instagram stories of “Camp Freedom” show clips of mostly unmasked children inside boxing and playing.
Reached by VICE World News Wednesday morning, Abedeen said he couldn’t do an interview because he was “really slammed right now.”
It’s unclear what Fearless’ business plan is, given that more than 65 percent of adults in Toronto are fully vaccinated. The gym’s Google reviews average 1.7 stars, with many reviewers complaining about the anti-vax policy.
A few months ago, Fearless’ posted on Instagram that “doing what’s right isn’t always easy” alongside a photo of headlines denouncing Muhammad Ali for draft evasion during the Vietnam War. The photo stated that the gym had received “hundreds of messages of support.”
The news about Fearless comes as local businesses grapple with whether or not to require staff and patrons to be vaccinated. GoodLife gyms recently sparked controversy when the chain tweeted it would not require staff or members to be vaccinated. Other businesses have taken a different tack, including Toronto restaurant Chantecler, which will require customers sitting at the bar to show proof of vaccination.
An initiative called “Safe to Do,” which was listing Ontario establishments with vaccinated staff shut down Tuesday, tweeting that the businesses in the database were being subjected to negative reviews and “hateful messages.”
“This was truly unexpected. I started this website less than a week ago, and it was intended to be apolitical, and to provide a resource for those who had lower risk tolerances and/or medical conditions that made COVID high risk for them,” the Safe to Do account tweeted.
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