Team GB sprinter Dina Asher-Smith says she is “shocked and hurt” by a social media post from PureGym that featured a workout titled "12 Years a Slave".
The post was made by the Luton and Dunstable branch of PureGym – the largest gym in the UK by membership - and said “slavery was hard and so is this” in reference to a workout designed to “celebrate Black History Month”.
PureGym have since removed the post, describing it as “wholly unacceptable”, but it drew an angry response on social media and Team GB's Asher-Smith was among those to express her disappointment.
"I am shocked, hurt and stunned and confused that someone would think it appropriate to use the enslavement and brutal torture of generations of black people to characterise a workout,” said the 24-year-old in a post on Twitter.
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I am in disbelief that somebody thought this was okay. I understand this came from an individual who had gone against corporate protocol and this was not a PureGym sanctioned post or workout.
"Nevertheless, this should not have happened. This is exactly why diversity and inclusion training is so important for all companies and PureGym policies must be tightened so that there is approval over what goes out under their name.
"Black History Month and the Black Lives Matter have shown why we need to have widespread honest and unfiltered education around Black History.
"It is important for everyone to understand why it is so offensive and inappropriate to make this allusion."