Muslim Man Accuses Gym of Discriminating Against His Religious Beliefs

Mohamed Fall

A Muslim man recently filed a lawsuit against a gym in Greater Cincinnati that allegedly refused to let him pray in the locker room. Former basketball player Mohamed Fall, who is a graduate from Western Hills High School, said earlier this year that three instructors at LA Fitness in Oakley surrounded him during his routine prayer after his workout session and refused to let him pray.

“I talk to myself in my certain meditation, the only thing you would acknowledge is me bending down and sitting up. But it never bothered anybody until that day specifically,” Fall said. “I felt bad, I felt like I committed a crime, it was not a good feeling, I was afraid at the moment so I just left.”

Tim Burke, Fall’s attorney, explained in the lawsuit that as a place of public accommodation, LA Fitness ought to have allowed his client to pray.

“42 USC 2000A states in part, all persons shall be entitled to ... any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin,” Burke wrote.

The attorney also said that it is unconstitutional for the gym to impose restrictions on Fall and in some way or the other compel him to change the way in which he lives his life.

“It was on the basis of somebody from 'national,' whoever that was, having been there that day and ordering them to tell him that,” Burke said.

The lawsuit however does not identify the three LA Fitness employees that Fall alleges approached him on January 29, the day of the incident. It also leaves out the name of the managerial head from the gym’s corporate office that was present at the scene the same day. When the media tried to contact the gym, they refused to comment and referred all queries to its headquarters in California.

  1. Photo Credits: WLWT Cincinnati

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