Controversy continues regarding Dolphins owner's fundraiser for Trump

Soul Cycle, Equinox customers express varied opinions

By Amy Viteri - Investigative Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - News of a planned fundraiser Friday night for President Donald Trump at Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' home in Southampton, New York, have caused a ripple effect throughout South Florida.

Clients of luxury fitness brands Equinox and Soul Cycle, which are both owned by Ross, weighed in Thursday on the controversy. 

"I follow all of our instructors on social media," Soul Cycle customer Maggie Pequeno said. "They all made a point to make statements yesterday of where they stand (and) how our community is about love and inclusivity of everyone."

"I think it's disappointing, mainly because Equinox and Soul Cycle pander so heavily to the LBGT community," Equinox customer Alex Kahn said.  

In this Aug. 2, 1985, file photo, Trump and Ross, left, and USFL Commissioner Harry L. Usher, center, discuss the agreement reached to merge the Houston and New Jersey franchises.

Many criticized Ross' plan to host the event, letting donors pay top dollar to support Trump's re-election campaign in exchange for an appearance by the president. 

Backlash on social media was swift.

Comedian Billy Eichner tweeted, "Hey @Equinox - what's your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?"

"Unfortunately I'm stuck in a contract right now with Equinox, but if I wasn't, I would be cancelling," Kahn said.  

In response to the backlash, Ross issued a statement Wednesday, saying he's known Trump for 40 years and they don't always agree.

"I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges," the statement read. 

Soul Cycle also issued a statement, saying the company in no way endorses the political fundraising event being held later this week, calling Ross a passive investor who is not involved in the management of Soul Cycle. 

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