A GYM boss has been sacked over allegations he said a woman should be “raped” for not turning up to a fitness class.
Senior instructor Ross Brain is accused of sending “abhorrent” messages to a work WhatsApp group at Edinburgh University’s Sport & Exercise club.
A message that appears to have been sent by Mr Brain stated: “Lets rape her. Or give her the choice of 600 burpees or rape.”
When junior staff in the group, mostly female, ignored the rape comment, a further message, purportedly send from Mr Brain’s account, said: “No-one up for this then?”
He was axed from his position yesterday after 800 students signed an open letter to university bosses demanding his dismissal, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.
Mr Brain is alleged to have sent the sick jibe to the group just before Christmas.
Colleagues are understood to have been discussing possible forfeits to be imposed on the woman who signed up to a six week exercise course but failed to show that morning.
Concerned staff reported the messages to the university’s HR department in January, but were left unaware of any action being taken.
Staff have now been left struggling on in a “toxic” environment with no faith in protocols if they report misogynistic or inappropriate behaviour, the Evening News reported.
The gym source added: “Staff were told there’d be an investigation in January and have heard no more.
“There are off-hand sexist remarks particularly working in the fitness industry that are leftover attitudes that haven’t made their way out yet.
“One senior manager apparently told female members of staff they must wear tight leggings because ‘it looks more professional’.
A spokesman for the University of Edinburgh said: “We take incidents such as this very seriously – the use of such language is abhorrent and has no place in this University.
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“We have a zero-tolerance stance towards sexual harassment of any kind and are absolutely committed to providing an environment in which all members of the University community treat others with dignity and respect.
“We put significant effort into reinforcing our zero tolerance culture including through campaigns such as ‘Don’t Cross the Line’.
“While we do not comment on the detail or outcome of individual cases, we can confirm that a full disciplinary investigation has taken place in this instance.”
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