Tommy Lefever, an Atlanta police officer, has challenged a gym owner who made headlines for refusing to serve police to a boxing match in hopes of changing the owner's mind about turning cops away.
"I found you sweat, you bleed with somebody, you exchange punches with somebody in a sport like boxing, it's hard not to respect the guy for getting in there with you afterwards," says Lafever.
This boxing match challenge comes after Jim Chambers, who owns a gym in Atlanta, made waves earlier this week when he hung a sign on the front of his establishment denying service to police (and using some colorful language, to boot). In addition to his "no f***ing cops" policy, Chambers also bans active military members.
Lafever says, "He might enjoy an opportunity to punch a cop in the face, and I'd be happy to oblige him and give him that opportunity."
The match would, in fact, be a charity boxing match in December to raise money for the Police Athletic League.
Lafever said he hopes that the match will change Chambers' mind about police and service members, saying, "Gaining mutual respect for one another in the boxing ring might be that start of something that can help overcome differences in worldview."
Chambers laughed at the idea and asked an inquiring NBC reporter if it would be a fair fight before he accepted.
With relations between police and many communities across the U.S. having eroded in recent years, tensions are high and show few signs of improving. But at the end of the day, whether you are a cop in this country or a citizen, we are all Americans and we must find a way to live here together in peace.
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