A fitness trainer from South Tyneside sparked outrage when he suggested that the London and Tunisia terror attacks should inspire people to get fit.
Luke Harrison, who runs Total Fitness Tribe, in Commercial Road, South Shields, posted a video on his Facebook page asking people if the “London and Tunisia bombings” could “inspire you to get fit and healthy”.
As well as discussing the recent shooting in Tunisia, which saw 30 British holidaymakers murdered, he also talks about it being 10 years since the 7/7 attacks in London, where 52 people were killed and 700 injured after bombings on the tube and bus service.
In the video, the 29-year-old asks people if they could run for their lives if they had to.
The head of a victims’ support group said people involved in the tragedies would be “outraged”.
Dave Hines, founder of the Jarrow-based National Victims’ Association, said: “I think he has shown absolutely no compassion or thought for the victims of these tragedies or their families.
I was just talking about it because it’s a relevant subject and it made me think about what people would do if they ever had to run away from something like that, would they be able to do it?Luke Harrison
“He’s trying to make a profit from these awful incidents and anyone that gives him money after this is just as bad.”
He added: “I think he needs to be taken to task. I know people who are working with people who were in Tunisia and their families and they’d be outraged by this.”
Mr Harrison said: “The point wasn’t to offend anyone deliberately, that wasn’t what I was saying.
“I was just talking about it because it’s a relevant subject and it made me think about what people would do if they ever had to run away from something like that. Would they be able to do it?
“I wasn’t saying that the people would have survived if they’d been in shape.
“Tragically, they probably wouldn’t have.
“What I was saying is that people should be properly prepared so if, God forbid, something like that ever happened to them they’d be physically able to run away or help other people who needed it.”
Mr Harrison claimed his partner has a family member who was in Tunisia and experienced it first-hand.
He added: “I wasn’t being deliberately disrespectful.
“I’ve heard first-hand the stories of what happened in Tunisia, and it was horrific.
“People have taken the wrong message from the video.
“I also talked about people being stabbed or raped and the message was simply about if you could do something to protect yourself.
“I wasn’t trying to profit out of what’s happened or offend anyone. My job is to help people and that’s what I try to do every day when I post these videos. I really regret that people took the video the wrong way.”
Mr Harrison began the video by shouting “boom”.
He said: “If anybody watches my videos they’ll know that I always say that at the beginning of my videos.
“That’s the way I always do it and I didn’t think anything of it until after I’d posted it.”
Mr Harrison later contacted the Gazette to say he had deleted the video. They were removed from his personal Facebook account but not from the Total Fitness Tribe – South Shields page.