Peloton received boycott threats and negative responses over the weekend after an instructor made a comment during a class. Peloton’s CEO responded to negative comments on Facebook and the ride was taken off the on-demand library. Some people saw the passage as a political statement. Others heard a joke that was not about politics but rather a shared love of football with a rider who has been removed from context.
Jenn Sherman gave a shoutout to a long-standing member for their 1000th ride during Jenn Sherman’s 60-minute Yacht Rock. A positive COVID-19 test by the NFL has caused the NFL to announce that the Patriots game, originally scheduled for Sunday, will now be held on Monday or Tuesday. Jenn commented on how a member might be wearing their Patriots jersey to work out as they are so passionate about the team. Jenn played one of their favourite songs and they remarked on how special it was to them for their 1000th ride. Jenn spoke about the song selection and the absence of football.
This is because I didn’t have a game today, so I added it. Coronavirus can take down the White House but not the NFL. OK? OK?
Some people who heard the above statement felt a common passion for football. Others saw it as a political statement and went on to Facebook and other social media channels to express their dismay. One rider wrote an open letter to John Foley, CEO of Peloton, on their Facebook page.
Open letter to John Foley
Peloton is a brand I love and have been loyal customer for five years. I have been able to rely on the bike for all of my life’s challenges and it has always been there for me. I have had the pleasure of chatting with you at every Homecoming event. Your cowboy boots were only one of many highlights from last Homecoming. Your love for Texas has always been something I have appreciated. The Peloton Facebook group was founded by me and I treasure the time we spend together building community. Even the bike was a catalyst to introduce me to a man that I love and wish to spend the rest my life with.
Over the past month, I’ve listened to instructors express their political opinions on the dollar. I wouldn’t speak for journalism teachers in the classroom. You’ve lost half of your audience, and you don’t even know it. Listen to your audience. We are looking for support, encouragement and upliftment without any political agenda. I ride to escape the media, noise and hidden agendas. These are my prayers. Nothing is more satisfying to me than to log in to ride without worrying about whether they will use your platform to make a profit.
John Foley eventually saw the note and replied directly to the user.
Sorry that you had to publish this [name removed]. You’re right. We are much better than this. I have just passed your thoughts on to our team. We won’t allow our platform or brand to be politicized. We want what you desire [name redacted]: An escape from the chaos and a supportive, loving community that is inclusive and non-discriminatory. It’s a fun, entertaining, motivating, and entertaining workout. Just as you would say. We will sometimes speak up on important issues, but we try to avoid direct politics because it is so nasty and divided. This is completely contrary to what we stand for at Peloton. It’s a shame that you have to write this again. Thank you. It will get better. I can promise you that. Much love, [name redacted]. Thank you for being you.
All of this led to the ride being pulled from the online library. John Foley doesn’t know what changes, if any John Foley would like to see in his team to “get better”.