Alt-right leader’s membership revoked at Alexandria gym

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By Alexa Epitropoulos | aepitropoulos@alextimes.com 

Alt-right leader Richard Spencer’s encounter on May 17 with a Georgetown University professor at an Alexandria gym is making headlines. 

The incident unfolded when C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown, approached Spencer at Sport and Health’s Old Town location at 209 Madison St., an incident Fair goes into detail on her Tumblr page.

In the post, Fair said she approached Spencer at the gym upon realizing his identity. He

A photo of the encounter posted on C. Christine Fair’s Tumblr page (Courtesy Photo)

denied he was Spencer. Fair, in turn, said she confronted Spencer about previous white nationalist statements, claiming she “found his membership at this gym to be an unfair burden upon the women and people of color – and white male allies of the same.” 

Fair said she loudly identified Spencer as a “neo-Nazi,” after which he requested the help of a gym employee. 

The post concludes with Fair saying that the gym’s general manager, Marty Thomas, told Fair that she was creating a “hostile environment.” Fair calls for Thomas to be fired and Spencer’s membership to be revoked in the post. The latter request appears to have been fulfilled. 

Several news organizations, including the Washington Post and Buzzfeed, report Spencer’s membership was revoked by the gym, but it’s unclear if Fair’s membership has also been revoked. A request for comment from Thomas wasn’t immediately returned and an employee at the gym who answered the phone declined to answer questions. A post on Spencer’s website, Altright.com, also claims Spencer’s gym membership has been revoked, going on to say that Spencer will be appealing the decision in the coming weeks.

Spencer has made waves, both locally and nationally, since entering the public consciousness during the 2016 presidential election. In January, Altright.com moved its operations to King Street in Old Town, which prompted strong reactions from local businesses and from city government. Spencer first gained widespread national coverage when, in Nov. 2016, he shouted “Hail Trump!” during a speech at a conference for a white supremacist think tank he chairs, the National Policy Institute. 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Though — at the time I write this, opinion was overwhelming against Mr. Spencer — I think that the poll presented in the Times was incomplete. Given the options presented, I would have revoked membership priviliges for both: I don’t support the views of Mr. Spencer but I also don’t endorse the vigliante actions of Ms. Fair. BUT, I believe that the establishment shouldn’t have taken a side. I do not belong to Sport & Health but is suspect that their contract of service does not include a morals clause that limits membeship on a person’s beliefs. Certainly, if Mr. Spencer was antagonizing other members or being rude to others based on the race, sex, national origin, or race please show him the door. Otherwise, management should have instructed the two individuals to keep to themselves. It would seem that Ms. Fair is now emboldened to battle her next target.

  2. While I applaud your Editorial criticizing the health club’s decision (which will further empower Spencer’s supporters to become more entrenched, hateful and paranoid), this poll is an glaring example of why polls are so untrustworthy.
    It already makes the assumption that someone must lose their membership. Why? How about d)Neither of them should lose their membership.