Sending A Sign: NJ Gym Owner Continues To Battle Gov’s Closure Orders

Eric Scheiner | December 15, 2020
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A New Jersey gym owner continues to do battle with Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J).

Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym, put a post on Instagram over the weekend saying, “The only way you'll ever close these doors is when you close my casket." 


A post shared by Ian Smith (@iansmithfitness)

"No government official will ever tell me that I am not able to provide for my family. I do not answer to public servants – no matter what threats or punishments they impose. I am a free man. I do not ask for permission. I do not ask for forgiveness. You work for us. The only way you'll ever close these doors is when you close my casket," the written portion of the post says.

The video shows Smith flipping through a series of printed messages addressing the large fines, arrests, and government closure efforts his business has suffered for remaining open despite Gov. Murphy’s COVID closure directives.

“Gov. Murphy will see this video and fine us 15K for it,” one message reads.

“No science. No shutdown” reads another.

While Smith remains silent throughout the video, the loudest part of the message comes at the end, when someone off screen shouts, “F**k you Murphy!” (you may want to turn down the volume if you play the video at work.)

The latest video is part of a long struggle between the gym owners and the state over COVID shutdown orders.