People Are Boycotting SoulCycle & Equinox Over Stephen Ross' Fundraiser For Trump
President Donald Trump is slated to appear at a high-dollar fundraiser in the Hamptons on August 9 — and the host is the billionaire owner of Equinox Fitness and SoulCycle. According to The Washington Post, New York real estate developer Stephen Ross is planning to host a fundraising luncheon for Trump at his home in Southhampton, and tickets cost up to $250,000. Now, people are boycotting SoulCycle and Equinox to protest Ross' fundraiser for Trump.
Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen and Billy Eichner are among those leading the charge against SoulCycle and Equinox, the Los Angeles Times reported. Eichner tweeted on August 7 that he had canceled his Equinox membership after many years after finding out, alleging that the owner "is enabling racism and mass murder." Teigen described Equinox as her "personal hell." Comedian Mitra Jouhari, meanwhile, tweeted that she would stop taking classes at SoulCycle after finding out that "the loser owner supports Trump."
In response to Ross' fundraiser and the subsequent boycotts, Equinox Fitness released a statement on August 7 attempting to distance itself from Ross and to defend its pro-LGBTQ stance.
"Equinox and SoulCycle have nothing to do with the event and do not support it," Equinox stated. "As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians. ... We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values. Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business."
SoulCycle's CEO issued a similar statement, describing Ross as a "passive investor" and noting that the fitness company remained "committed to all our riders and the communities we live in."
"At SoulCycle, we wake up every day committed to our community, and creating a safe space where all our welcome," the statement said. We believe in diversity, inclusion, and equality."
Ross is the chairman and majority owner of the Related Companies, a real estate development firm that is the parent company for both Equinox and SoulCycle. Related Companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Elite Daily.
For his part, Ross — who also happens to be the owner of the Miami Dolphins — released a statement through the Dolphins on August 7 in response to the boycotts.
“I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions," Ross said in his statement, per the Miami Herald. “I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”
The Miami Herald pointed out that Ross appeared to diverge from Trump on issues like race, having supported athletes kneeling during the national anthem while the president condemned them. Ross also runs a nonprofit for improving racial equality in sports, Politico reported. But Kenny Stills, a wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins who kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and social injustice, criticized Ross for his decision to fundraise for Trump.
"You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump," Stills tweeted.
Ross' argument that he is "an active participant in the democratic process" also did not seem to stop the boycotts. Numerous customers have reportedly threatened to cancel their memberships at Equinox and SoulCycle, CBS News reported, to protest Ross' decision to hold a Trump fundraiser.
In terms of what may be standing between you and a workout, this is pretty major. Just remember — like any workout, your choices today have long-term effects.