Special Olympic Athletes Harassed at a pool at Local Gym

AMARILLO -

Claims emerge that a group of Special Olympic athletes is harassed and called derogatory names by a man.

The mother of one of those athletes says it happened at a local gym while the athletes were swimming.

Anger, sadness and complete disbelief.

Those are some of the words Sabrina Johnson used to describe her experience at a local gym.

"We’re aware of what happened last night it is the second time. What we know is that this gentleman had come into the facility while our athletes were practicing during their allotted time which was given to the facility and he started being derogatory giving them remarks that were disrespectful," said Steve Helm, Public Relations Coordinator for Special Olympics Texas.

Johnson took to social media to express her frustrations on the incident, but she says her post was then taken down by Facebook.

She says her son and his friends have been swimming at the gym for weeks.

She tells us the man was in one of their reserved lanes, when they asked him to switch to another lane; he started cursing at the Special Olympic coach and athletes.

Johnson says the staff from the gym at the time, told the man to move from the lane but she says the man became furious, started cursing again and refused to move.

"It’s truly not something that really happens often which is a great thing I mean there are times though unfortunately this does happen people might not understand abilities that people with intellectual disabilities have. It kinda shows that we still have a lot of work to do," said Helm.

Johnson says this incident has happened more than once and she says she was told by the gym that the man's behavior would not be tolerated and that his membership would be revoked the following day.

Johnson tells us that the man was back the next day after the incident.

We reached out to the local gym and they confirmed they were looking into the situation and have made a decision regarding the matter.

But they wouldn't comment on what actions were taken.

 


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