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Posts Tagged ‘Ronnie Teasdale’

Downtown CrossFit Gym Owner Disputes Scandalous LA Weekly Story

Last month, we reported about a massively popular LA Weekly freelance contribution from Jonathan Maseng. In the article, Maseng wrote about how the owner and some members of the downtown branch of the CrossFit gym chain had posed for a photo with a homeless person passed out in the streets and then gloried by sharing the resulting picture (and other related snaps) on the business’s official Facebook page.

This past Monday, July 30, aforementioned CrossFit Mean Streets owner Ronnie Teasdale sent out to members a long email/Facebook message about the resulting controversy. While he admitted that the photos (since removed) were in poor taste, he tried to deflect some of the controversy by noting that the passed out individuals shown were not homeless but rather habitually drunk customers of nearby bars. People that he claims he and his staff know well:

Many of the pictures in the article are over two years old. Let me be clear about who the people in the pictures are: they are not homeless people. They are alcoholics who are regulars at the bars nearby the gym. We know their names and have interacted with them over the time the gym has been open, including getting them help when needed. I don’t condone the photos, but the implication of the article, which is that the gym was abusing homeless people or refusing to come to the aid of people in need, is false.

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LA Weekly Scores Home Run with Scandalous CrossFit Gym Photos

Here’s an item that has the scandalous, photo-driven hallmarks of a classic LA Weekly “The Informer” dispatch. The only anomaly is that it comes not from Dennis Romero or Simone Wilson but rather first-time freelance contributor Jonathan Maseng.

Just ahead of the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games this weekend at the Home Depot Center, LA Weekly has published some absolutely disgusting Facebook photos shared by the the owner of the LA downtown end of the CrossFit operation. The pictures, which you’ll have to click through to see, feature in one case GymFit personnel gleefully standing above a homeless man passed out on a sidewalk.

LA Weekly editor-in-chief Sarah Fenske tells FishbowlLA that Maseng’s story started blowing up this morning around 9 a.m. PT, three hours after it was posted. “Right now we’re getting three times the normal traffic on laweekly.com, entirely thanks to that story.”

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