One Georgia cop is taking matters into his own hands after a story about an East Atlanta Village, Ga., gym banning law-enforcement officers and active military members went viral. That is, the officer decided it would be a grand idea to challenge the owner of the gym to a boxing match.
“He seems like he might enjoy getting the opportunity to punch a cop in the face, and I’d be happy to oblige him and give him that opportunity,” Officer Tommy Lefever of Fayetteville said to 11 Alive about EAV Barbell Club owner Jim Chambers.
Chambers and his gym came into the spotlight Tuesday after news broke about a vulgar, controversial sign that was posted up on his gym.
“No Fucking Cops,” the crudely made sign succinctly stated.
“We’ve had an explicitly stated ‘no cop’ policy since we opened, and we also don’t open membership to active members of the military,” Chambers explained.
Lefever, a seven-year police veteran who asked that his department not be named, said he hopes that by challenging Chambers to a boxing match, he could open up a dialogue.
“I found, you sweat, you bleed with somebody, you exchange punches with somebody in a sport like boxing, it’s hard not to respect the guy for getting in there with you afterwards,” he said. “Gaining mutual respect for one another in the boxing ring might be the start of something that can help overcome differences in worldview, ideology, what have you.”
It is uncertain if the challenge will work. When 11 Alive mentioned the idea to Chambers, the gym owner laughed and said he wanted to know whether there would be a fair fight before he accepted. But who knows? Stranger things have happened.
“There’s more work to be done, and I’d love to. If there’s anything I can do to help make that connection, then it’s totally worth it to get in the ring with a guy and make it happen,” Lefever said.
Read more at 11 Alive.