Stephen Ross, who is the chairman of The Related Companies, is facing criticism for hosting a Hamptons, New York fundraiser for Trump this week, and the mainstream media has pushed the narrative with continued reporting on the comments.
In addition to The Related Companies, Ross owns the National Football League franchise Miami Dolphins. The Related Companies is the parent company of SoulCycle, Equinox, and Pure Yoga. SoulCycle is a fitness gym built on indoor cycling, Equinox is a luxury fitness company and Pure Yoga is a yoga studio company. Outrage ensued and people on social media called for a boycott of those companies.
Ross issued a statement to NBC News and defended his political activism, saying:
“While some prefer to sit outside of the process and criticize, I prefer to engage directly and support the things I deeply care about…I have known Donald Trump for 40 years, and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions. 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.”
SoulCycle and Equinox issued statements condemning Ross, which is interesting considering that he is the chairman of their parent company and therefore is a major investor in those companies. SoulCycle’s CEO issued a statement.
A note from our CEO pic.twitter.com/UwxBWR76B0
— SoulCycle (@soulcycle) August 7, 2019
— Equinox (@Equinox) August 7, 2019
SoulCycle’s CEO, Melanie Whelan, called Ross “a passive investor” and reiterated how the company does not fund politicians with its own profits. Equinox issued a statement, which echoed SoulCycle’s point that company profits aren’t used to fund politicians and that Ross is “a passive investor.”
NBC News, CNN, CBS News and ABC News reported on the fundraiser and the fallout from it. However, as is common with gym memberships, canceling one’s gym membership at SoulCycle or Equinox could be costly if not tricky, yet this reality does not satiate the thirst for outrage on social media.
Also, this is not the first time that the media has amplified the Left’s messaging about boycotting companies or businesspeople over their ties to Trump. But, when compared to Barack Obama, there is no example of similar outrage due to Obama’s lack of longstanding private-sector or business ties as he was a publicly-elected official and community organizer before being elected as president.
Photo by Phillip Pessar