LEE’S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) – After new guidelines were rolled out, a local Jackson County gym said it will not follow the updated mask order.
The owner of Shredd KC is no stranger to bending or breaking the rules when it comes to the COVID-19 orders. We talked to Ryan Waters back in May when he opened his gym before the county order allowed it.
“I just stand up for what I believe in,” said Waters.
When Jackson County came out last week and said masks are required, including gyms, Waters let his customers know in an Instagram post masks aren’t a part of the necessary equipment.
“Last week I wasn’t a murderer because I was following the rules,” said Waters. “Now, this week I am. It just doesn’t make sense.”
After a social media post saying the gym wouldn’t require masks got some attention, Ryan has a full voicemail box.
Here are some of the messages:
“I hope you and your family *beep* die of COVID.”
“You’re dumb. You’ve never had much of an intelligence, so you think that killing people, you know, like sick kids and sick old people *beep* cool and manly.”
Waters said he thinks they are empty threats.
“There’s people that are wishing death upon my family because of this,” said Waters. “It’s just, people are so extreme these days it’s embarrassing.”
The attention on social media is boosting business at Shredd.
“Business is booming. Some bad Google reviews and some death threats don’t really affect me,” Waters said.
Terry Mahoney says he was kick out of his gym last week for not wearing a mask, then he found somewhere that aligns with his beliefs.
“I’m exercising my constitutional rights, my freedom,” Mahoney said. “We’re here for freedom.”
Waters said since they reopened the gym in May there hasn’t been a COVID case linked to the gym.
There is not an automatic fine associated with non compliance. Fines are determined in court by a judge. The Jackson County Environmental Health division has issued two tickets of non-compliance to Shredd KC.