San Francisco gyms have been forced by the liberal city to remain closed for months as part of measures implemented to reduce the spread of coronavirus. But city leaders have applied different rules for fitness facilities used by city employees.
According to KNTV-TV, city-owned indoor gyms have been open for months, all while privately owned indoor gyms have struggled to stay afloat. The result, KNTV reported, is "crushing private gym owners."
Daniele Rabkin, who owns Crossfit Golden Gate, told KNTV the city's actions are "shocking" and "infuriating."
Rabkin reportedly learned that city-owned gyms had reopened after texting several police officers, offering them her gym to work out. The officers told Rabkin that the fitness center at the police station was up and running — with enhanced safety protocols, of course.
"Even though they're getting exposed, there are no repercussions, no ramifications? It's shocking," Rabkin said.
Not only have gyms for city police officers reopened while private gyms have remained shuttered, but so have city-owned gyms used by judges, lawyers, bailiffs, and paralegals, KNTV reported.
Dave Karraker, owner of MX3 Fitness in the Castro, echoed Rabkin's frustrations.
"It just demonstrates that there seems to be some kind of a double standard between what city employees are allowed to do and what the residents of San Francisco are allowed to do," Karraker told KNTV.
He added, "What the city has unwillingly done is created this great case study that says that working out indoors is actually safe. So at this point, we're just demanding that they allow us to have the same workout privileges for the citizens of San Francisco that the employees of San Francisco have."
Perhaps most shocking is the fact that the city was unapologetic about the double standard.
NBC Bay Area asked the city for comment Thursday, and were told only that the current health order does not allow indoor fitness gyms to operate, and per Mayor London Breed's latest reopening announcement, privately owned gyms have to stay closed until at least the end of the month.
The news comes days after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi triggered national controversy for getting her hair done at a San Francisco salon that has been shuttered by COVID-restrictions.
"It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can't work," salon owner Erica Kious said.