Blind man kicked out of gym for 'staring' at woman while she was working out

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A blind man was allegedly asked by staff at a gym to leave after a woman accused him of staring at her while she was working out.

Footballer Toby Addison was born sighted, but from the age of 11, he started to lose his vision. By his early teens, he was 80 percent blind and now only has 4 percent of his eyesight left.

The 21-year-old frequently uses his social media platforms - especially TikTok under the handle @blindtobes - to share his life experiences as a blind person.

But unfortunately, one of those experiences was certainly not a positive one as at the age of 17, he was kicked out of a gym after a woman complained that he was staring at her.

Watch Addison speak about the incident: 

Explaining the incident in a TikTok video posted earlier this year, Addison said: "Once I was in the gym, minding my business on a machine, doing whatever exercise, and I hear someone a few meters away say, 'ah, do you like the view?'"

"I'm thinking to myself, 'Uh oh, we've got a bit of a gym freak here, I wonder what idiot is looking at this poor woman making her uncomfortable,'" he continued. "I don't hear a response from whoever she's talking to. But then I hear again, much closer to me now, 'Uh did you hear me? Why are you staring at me?'."

Addison stated that he doesn't look "stereotypically blind" and that when he's focusing on something, he stares into the distance, adding: "It turns out that I was unfortunately, staring right at this woman while she was doing her exercise".

"I replied to the woman who's now inches from my face all up in my area," he said. "I say 'I'm very sorry didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. I'm actually blind. I was not staring at you. I was staring at nothing.'"

"She's not having any of it. She tells me to 'shut up' calls me 'a creep', storms off against the gym worker, I plead my innocence to them, but they are not listening to me," he sadly shared.

Addison revealed that he was "removed from the gym that day" and concluded his video by stating that the area should be "a safe space where everyone feels comfortable".

The young athlete explained more about the incident on the Happy Hour Podcast and said that he's thankful the gym he went to at 17 was not his regular one.

In addition to this, Addison said in a follow-up TikTok video that he understands why the woman would have wanted to call him out for making her feel uncomfortable but wishes she was more understanding of his situation.

"It’s so sad that some women feel uncomfortable or anxious when in the gym because of a small percentage of people who have acted inappropriately," he said.

"It’s also really sad that awareness around disabilities just isn’t good enough at the minute, and when you mix the two together you make situations like I described way more likely to occur," he added.

Featured image credit: Skynesher / Getty

Blind man kicked out of gym for 'staring' at woman while she was working out

vt-author-image

By Asiya Ali

Article saved!Article saved!

A blind man was allegedly asked by staff at a gym to leave after a woman accused him of staring at her while she was working out.

Footballer Toby Addison was born sighted, but from the age of 11, he started to lose his vision. By his early teens, he was 80 percent blind and now only has 4 percent of his eyesight left.

The 21-year-old frequently uses his social media platforms - especially TikTok under the handle @blindtobes - to share his life experiences as a blind person.

But unfortunately, one of those experiences was certainly not a positive one as at the age of 17, he was kicked out of a gym after a woman complained that he was staring at her.

Watch Addison speak about the incident: 

Explaining the incident in a TikTok video posted earlier this year, Addison said: "Once I was in the gym, minding my business on a machine, doing whatever exercise, and I hear someone a few meters away say, 'ah, do you like the view?'"

"I'm thinking to myself, 'Uh oh, we've got a bit of a gym freak here, I wonder what idiot is looking at this poor woman making her uncomfortable,'" he continued. "I don't hear a response from whoever she's talking to. But then I hear again, much closer to me now, 'Uh did you hear me? Why are you staring at me?'."

Addison stated that he doesn't look "stereotypically blind" and that when he's focusing on something, he stares into the distance, adding: "It turns out that I was unfortunately, staring right at this woman while she was doing her exercise".

"I replied to the woman who's now inches from my face all up in my area," he said. "I say 'I'm very sorry didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. I'm actually blind. I was not staring at you. I was staring at nothing.'"

"She's not having any of it. She tells me to 'shut up' calls me 'a creep', storms off against the gym worker, I plead my innocence to them, but they are not listening to me," he sadly shared.

Addison revealed that he was "removed from the gym that day" and concluded his video by stating that the area should be "a safe space where everyone feels comfortable".

The young athlete explained more about the incident on the Happy Hour Podcast and said that he's thankful the gym he went to at 17 was not his regular one.

In addition to this, Addison said in a follow-up TikTok video that he understands why the woman would have wanted to call him out for making her feel uncomfortable but wishes she was more understanding of his situation.

"It’s so sad that some women feel uncomfortable or anxious when in the gym because of a small percentage of people who have acted inappropriately," he said.

"It’s also really sad that awareness around disabilities just isn’t good enough at the minute, and when you mix the two together you make situations like I described way more likely to occur," he added.

Featured image credit: Skynesher / Getty