NORTH FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Southwest Florida man explains his medical condition got him kicked out of a place that's supposed to be a judgment free zone.
Josh Ertter says he was trying to get a quick workout in with his fiancé and his brother at Planet Fitness at the Merchant’s Crossing location last month. Once he walked in, he informed the staff that he has Tourettes.
He says minutes later, he was approached by the assistant manager, and they told him he was making too much noise and was asked to leave. “He was like ‘sir, I know you have Tourette’s, and I know you can’t control it, but we’re going to have to ask you to leave. You’re not welcomed here.' And I was like what? Seriously?” Ertter said.
Ertter says he wasn’t sure how to feel after that interaction. “This something I cannot control, and trust me I swear if I could stop I would, I don’t enjoy doing this,” he said.
Planet Fitness is famous for its motto, “No Judgement Zone.” Fox 4 did speak with the manager at the Merchant Crossing location, and we were told they could not comment at this time.
But Ertter says it’s not about painting Planet Fitness in a bad light. He explains he’s been to different locations and never had a problem; he says his goal is to educate people about Tourette's syndrome.
“I truly want to use this platform as a way to raise awareness for Tourette’s because of the lack of education,” he said. “To get kicked out of somewhere and discriminated against for that, that’s just ignorance and intolerance.”
Planet Fitness released this statement to Fox4:
"We sincerely apologize for the unfortunate incident that took place at our North Fort Myers club. In this instance, a staff member enforced a company policy in error. While the staff’s actions were not malicious in their intent, we are working closely with the franchise owner to reeducate the staff on our current policies and protocols. We have also contacted this guest directly to personally convey our sincerest regrets." -Becky Zirlen ,Senior Public Relations Manager