On Virgin Active/Freedom of Expression
13 August 2015
Muhammed Desai, a long-standing Virgin Active member and BDS South Africa’s National Coordinator, wears various t-shirts when he attends the gym including t-shirts of Amnesty International, Swaziland Solidarity Network, ANCYL, YCL and BDS SA.
On Wednesday morning Desai, a member of Virgin Active for several years, received calls from the Branch Manager of his Virgin Active Old Eds Gym as well as the Regional Manager of the company. Virgin Active communicated that they had received complaints from several pro-Israeli supporters who frequent the gym regarding t-shirts that Desai wears.
The managers said that, after consultation with their legal office and upper structures of the company, Desai will not be allowed to enter the gym for as long as he wears a BDS tshirt with pro-Palestinian messaging, or one that calls for a “Boycott of Israel”. Desai requested copies of the complaints which were never furnished to him.