Fitness influencers and Twitter users blasted a TIME interview to portray exercise as an activity with roots in White supremacy.
“How did US exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?” the TIME article, titled “The White Supremacist Origins of Exercise, and 6 Other Surprising Facts about the History of US Physical Fitness,” asked.
The article was heavily mocked on Twitter, with critics saying it was destroying the media’s credibility.
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“Honestly, I want them to keep pumping articles like this out to eviscerate every remaining shred of their credibility and perceived legitimacy,” British rapper Zuby tweeted. “It doesn’t anger me at all. It’s so goofy I consider it satire.”
Ed Latimore, a former heavyweight boxer, tweeted, “First math was a tool of white supremacy. Now it’s exercise. Pretty soon, food is gonna be a tool to continue systemic racism oppression.”
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Other users on Twitter also rejected TIME’s framing of the early history of exercise in the US as “totally part of a white supremacy project.” Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, who was interviewed for the article, is author of the new book “Fit Nation: The Gains and Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession.”
AI expert and DeepCube founder Dr. Eli David poked fun at the seeming implications of the TIME article on fitness and white supremacy: “If you exercise, you’re a white supremacist.”
Dr. Gad Saad, marketing professor at Concordia University in Montreal, also joined in on the fun: “Precisely. The only way to fight against the white supremacy roots of exercise is by leading a sedentary life. Say no to exercise as a means of being an ally to people of color.”
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TIME History’s post sharing the article on the “white supremacist” origins of exercise was heavily ratioed on Twitter, with hundreds of comments responding to the article and only a few likes in comparison.
Many comments were negative, with one user predicting that the “ratio on this tweet will be huge.”
Social media stars and YouTubers the Hodgetwins joked that the article was ridiculous enough to qualify as satire: “Paging .@TheBabylonBee, they are stealing your content.”
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