Joey Swoll is taking some flak despite attempts to make gyms and fitness centers more welcoming environments. In a recent post made on Twitter, Swoll issued a statement after fans accused him of disrespecting women on the streaming platform TikTok.
“I’ve spent the last couple years creating a platform to do something I’ve been doing all my life – promote a positive gym experience for all. Sometimes that means highlighting great deeds, and sometimes it means bringing to light toxic behavior,” Swoll wrote.
While navigating social media as a fitness influencer, Swoll’s name grew in popularity after sharing gym-related content. Over the last few years, Swoll has called out people for unflattering behavior, especially when it’s directed at gym staff. The last time Joey dealt with this problem; a young woman accused an older employee of staring at her while she undressed even though he seemingly just glanced in her direction.
It should be noted that it’s not just women Joey blasts on social media. When bodybuilder Charly Joung was posing at his local gym, an estranged man cursed him out. Irrespective of the gym’s rules, Swoll made an example out of the man for his erratic behavior. Fortunately, Joung refrained from getting aggressive during the incident.
Swoll’s latest viral encounter against toxic gym culture saw him condemn a female influencer who called a man ‘fuc**ng feral’ for looking in her direction and attempting to help her attach weights to a barbell. As a result of the encounter, some fans have questioned whether Joey’s videos lack context, and/or represent a prejudice against women.
Joey Sw*ll is building a platform on the idea that women can’t be trusted in gyms because they’re hysterical/vain. His qts are full of incels calling women misogynistic slurs which he doesn’t address. The way this ends is someone feels entitled to attack a woman at the gym.
— do it look like i got left off bad and boujee? (@SimplyAYT_) February 3, 2023
Joey Swoll: People ‘Take My Words of Positivity and Create Situations of Harassment’
Swoll was disappointed fans and other media outlets would perpetuate a message like misogyny that he ‘absolutely’ doesn’t agree with.
“But no matter the subject of the video, it is always done with an attempt to inspire everyone to do better, and be better. I’ve been so blessed to have this become a movement with a message bigger than myself or anyone. It has been so inspiring and amazing to see.
However, it is sad that people are trying to use my message to push an agenda I absolutely do not agree with. If you actually go to my page you’ll see I’ve done an equal amount of videos on men and women because gender has nothing to do with it. I have no agenda other than making the gym a safer place for EVERYONE. Period.
Again if you go to my page you’ll see I’ve covered several videos of women being harassed in gyms, spoken to them personally to make sure they’re ok, befriended them, and have even bought gym memberships to new gyms for these women who were being bullied where they can feel safe. There have been some who have taken it upon themselves to take my words of positivity and create situations of harassment, misogyny, body shaming, or any other version of spreading hate.”
I’ve spent the last couple years creating a platform to do something I’ve been doing all my life – promote a positive gym experience for all. Sometimes that means highlighting great deeds, and sometimes it means bringing to light toxic behavior. But no matter the subject of the… https://t.co/vUh1ekQSM4 pic.twitter.com/jx5mOgF0tA
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) February 9, 2023
To everyone I say these two things:
Number 1 – my videos have made a big impact on the gym community and helped thousands of men and women over the last year start their fitness journey, overcome their fear and anxiety, and I’m NEVER going to stop helping people and standing up to bullies and toxic gym culture. And anyone who’s ever met me at the gym, or anywhere, no matter their age, body, gender, or race, can attest to my kindness, inclusion, and message of positivity. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of.
And number 2 – anyone trying to use my words, videos, platform, or my message as an excuse to harass, body shame, or demean anyone of any gender is no friend or follower of mine. They are just as much a bully as any video I’ve highlighted on my page. They do not stand FOR me, nor do they stand WITH me. To those people i say, with every fiber of my heart – “DO BETTER.” – wrote Joey Swoll on Twitter.
While attempting to correct poor gym etiquette, some of the people Joey has called out have issued apologies. Nicki Fitness, a popular TikTok personality, made a public apology video after she shamed a man for practicing drag curls. In addition, TikTok user Jessica Fernandez made amends with the man she called feral after Joey’s ‘wake up call.’
Swoll isn’t the only muscle-bound star determined to spread gym positivity. Recently, his efforts got the attention of seven-time Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger. The bodybuilding legend announced a partnership with Swoll and plans to work with him in the future.
Others have highlighted that Joey Swoll’s message about gym etiquette is spreading. Despite the accusations, Joey Swoll has no intention of backing down from making gyms more welcoming for all, especially women.