A health club faux pas led to a brawl at a 24 Hour Fitness center in San Francisco last weekend, police said.
Around 9 p.m. Sunday, two men traded punches in the pool area of the gym at 1850 Ocean Ave. after one of the men asked the other to shower before entering the pool.
According to police, a 48-year-old man was disgusted that a “sweaty” 57-year-old man kept going into the steam room and then jumping into the pool without taking a shower.
The older man had just come back from working out on a StairMaster, police spokesman Officer Albie Esparza said.
The younger man confronted the older man, reminding him that it is the fitness center’s policy that members shower prior to using the swimming pool.
According to the younger man, the older man became enraged, hollering profanities.
“He was basically saying, who was he to talk to him like that,” Esparza said.
The older man then spit at the younger man before twice punching him in the face. The younger man fought back, punching the older man in the face multiple times, Esparza said.
The men filed police reports about the incident separately. In his report, the older man claimed he did shower prior to hopping in the pool.
Neither member was arrested since the brawl was deemed to be mutual combat, Esparza said.
A manager at the Ocean Avenue fitness center declined to comment on the incident. The fitness center’s website says it requires members to shower before using its pools, whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chlorine used in pools doesn’t always work fast enough to destroy germs. Some germs take longer to kill.
One of the most common causes of recreational water illness is cryptosporidium, a germ that causes diarrhea. The germ is “very tolerant” to chlorine disinfection, according to the CDC.
“Swallowing even a small amount of water that has been contaminated with these germs can make you sick,” the agency says. “That is why it is so important to stay out of the pool if you are sick with diarrhea, shower before swimming, and avoid swallowing pool water.”
According to a University of Michigan study released in June, only 26 percent of parents who had brought their children to water parks said they thought it was very important to shower before getting in the water.