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Gym owner faces backlash after controversial social media post

Blue Ridge Crossfit owner Tom Tomlo faces backlash after a controversial social media post. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

The owner of a local fitness center said the posts were all in fun, but the social media fallout continues. The images and comments about the women bending over in workout poses have sparked anger in the local fitness community.

Blue Ridge Crossfit owner Tom Tomlo first posted the video to Instagram. The video showing women exercising at the local fitness center was taken down, but, as is often the case on the internet, what was there does not really go away.

A member of Blue Ridge Crossfit saw it, shot still photos and posted them to Facebook.

The images, combined with descriptive emojis Tomlo used, are causing a major stir. Hundreds of people posted their anger on social media.

Tomlo, who shot and posted the video, said it's a misunderstanding.

"We do pictures of guys' butts around here, we have an informal loving family and it's not a negative thing," he said. "We were having fun. We were videoing, talking about booties that day.

"I can't control the way this is being portrayed, and I'm regretful for it. Someone took offense to it. They took a picture of it and put it in a way, I can see how it would be misunderstood."

Dalton Buchanan had been a Blue Ridge Crossfit member for three-years. He quit Friday.

"I know that a lot of people have left at this point. A lot of the coaches have left, because they just don't want to be associated with that mindset," Buchanan said. "If it takes a news organization contacting you for you to say I'm even a little bit sorry for what I said, then you probably are sorry for the wrong reasons."

Buchanan believes the video was offensive and so was the profanity-laced post from Tomlo after a Blue Ridge Crossfit member said, "This is not OK."

"His message to the members, that anyone who agreed with her was in the wrong, and he was in the right, and that, if you did not agree with his point of view, you were not fit to be there, that in my opinion says that I shouldn't be there," Buchanan said.

So, Buchanan and others are already looking for another place to train.

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