A Seattle boxing gym has closed its doors after receiving death threats in response to their defiance of the state’s recent shutdown orders.
Brandon Sweeney, the owner of Seattle’s Rowdy Box, told KOMO News on Monday that the governor’s newest restrictions would shut down his newly-opened business for good.
Governor Jay Inslee announced a 4-week shutdown last Sunday that, among many other restrictions, has closed all indoor fitness operations and limited their outdoor capacity to five people until December 14th in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” Sweeney said on Monday. “If they want to come in here and sue me or fine me (well) we are out of money already. What are they going to take?”
“We look towards and lean on the science and data behind the pandemic,” Rowdy Box posted to Instagram shortly thereafter, “which has proven that gyms and fitness studios are not the cause of the spread of this nasty virus.”
On Thursday, however, Rowdy Box reversed course and closed its doors.
Sweeney told KOMO News that he and his family began to receive death threats. In response, he has closed the gym’s doors.
“Effective until early December,” the gym announced on Instagram, “our studio will be closed.”
Sweeney also said that he would be leaving the area for a time while things calm down.
This was not Sweeney’s first time standing up to Washington State’s COVID-19 restrictions.
In August, Sweeney’s wife, Sami, started an online petition asking Inslee to re-consider restrictions he enacted on August 3rd.
Inslee began requiring that fitness studios give 17 feet of space between clients. Small business owners argued that these restrictions were unrealistic and burdensome for small businesses who don’t have as much space as larger chains.
“We’re gonna be down to two people per class and we can’t operate,” said Sami, owner of Pure Barre in Bellevue, “we’d have to close down with just two people per class.”
The petition has gained over 17,000 signatures.
In response to the newest state mandates given last Sunday, Pure Barre announced they would be closing down.