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Athletes Unleashed files suit against Cuomo, state; Orchard Park gym loses Crossfit affiliation

Athletes Unleashed
Posted at 10:46 AM, Nov 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 18:43:42-05

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WKBW) — A gym owner in Orchard Park who recently made national headlines for defying New York’s COVID-19 orders has been stripped of his Crossfit affiliation.

The decision made by Crossfit to cut ties came after a racist email allegedly written by gym owner, Robby Dinero surfaced.

"We are outraged and appalled by the language used by Mr. Dinero, which has no place in the CrossFit community. When we heard about the issue, we contacted Mr. Dinero, who did not deny using the language in question, so we have terminated his affiliate relationship with CrossFit, effective immediately,” a Crossfit spokesman told 7 Eyewitness News in a statement.

According to Morning Chalk Up, the email was sent to a Buffalo woman in response to a request for a refund for the Liberty Games competition originally scheduled for March 28, 2020, which was postponed and eventually canceled.

“I will refund your money as soon as you eat my a** you filthy, foreign, third-world country piece of s**t,” the email response said which was signed by Dinero.

Dinero also vowed to open on Monday, November 30. But, he has since reversed course. He has hired attorney Paul Cambria to represent him.

Cambria filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court on November 30 against Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Health Department and the Empire State Development Corporation.

The suit alleges Athlete’s Unleashed has been severely impacted by the pandemic, and through no fault of its own, been forced to cease its operations s as required by governmental order.

Dinero made national news earlier this month after a video showed him and other business owners kicking out Erie County health sanitarians after they attempted to break up their protest inside his private business.

The Erie County Health Department fined Dinero $15,000 for having too many people at the location and for not wearing face coverings.

Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw was among the first public officials to come to Dinero’s defense and encouraged people to donate to a Go Fund Me established to pay Dinero’s fine.

“Poloncarz's Health Dept fined Marine, war veteran & business owner Robby Dinero $15,000. Kicked them out of his gym. Video went viral. Sparked the resistance against tyrannical politicians. Please share our GoFundMe. Help him fight against this $15K fine,” he tweeted on November 24.

Mychajliw wasn’t available for an interview to address Dinero’s email. But in a statement he didn’t denounce the email.

“I will never back down from supporting all business owners that might lose their livelihood because Mark Poloncarz makes up arbitrary COVID rules as he goes along. Our GoFundMe continues. I encourage people to support it. Resources will be used by a multitude of suffering business owners. My fight is about helping businesses, schools, churches and families being destroyed by lockdowns that clearly do not work. I’m not backing down one bit. Quite the opposite. Speaking generally here, and not about a specific person or business, any remark believed to be racist is repugnant and abhorrent in any setting from anyone, anywhere at any time,” the statement read.