Time magazine has been ruthlessly mocked for an article saying the origins of exercise are rooted in racism.
The piece, titled ‘The White Supremacist Origins of Exercise,’ preaches the activity as a pastime started in the early 1900s by white Americans who sought to strengthen their race amid increasing immigration and the abolition of slavery.
Those statements were made by progressive private school teacher Natalia Petrzela, who was interviewed by the publication after engaging in an in-depth study into the origins of calorie-burning activities in the US.
The Columbia grad, a self-professed ‘fitness scholar’ who works as a history teacher at a famously progressive private school in Manhattan, supports movements such as Defund the Police and Black Lives Matter.
She has penned books expressing her ideals, in which she preaches the use of terms like ‘cisgender’ and ‘white privilege.
Released on Thursday, the article was heavily mocked on Twitter, with dozens taking to the platform to insist stories like these are destroying the publication’s reputation.
The polarizing piece was provided by self-professed fitness ‘historian’ Natalia Petrzela, a schoolteacher and vehement supporter of Defund the Police and Black Lives Matter
The article, titled ‘The White Supremacist Origins of Exercise,’ preaches the activity as a pastime was started in the early 1900s, by white Americans who sought to strengthen their race amid rapidly increasing rates of immigrations and the recent abolishing of slavery
‘This headline is so ridiculous yet it’s intention to promote division and hate is promoted by Time,’ TV presenter Jillian Anderson wrote, criticizing the piece’s jarring title.
AI expert Dr Eli David sarcastically added of the implications seemingly tied to the article: ‘If you exercise, you’re a white supremacist.’
British rapper Zuby, who is Black, remarked: ‘Honestly, I want them to keep pumping articles like this out to eviscerate every remaining shred of their credibility and perceived legitimacy.
‘It doesn’t anger me at all. It’s so goofy I consider it satire.’
Retired African-American Heavyweight boxer Ed Latimore aired similar sentiments, pointing to similar claims made by other woke bodies – including the Seattle Public School system’s 2019 report that claimed its schools did not sufficiently prioritize the experiences of communities of color in students’ word problems and curriculums.
‘First math was a tool of white supremacy. Now it’s exercise,’ the 36-year-old fighter remarked. ‘Pretty soon, food is gonna be a tool to continue systemic racism oppression.’
Musician Christian Thompson added: ‘I think it’s great that you all are destroying your credibility with utter dogs**t like this… Keep going!’
Dr. Gad Saad, marketing professor at Canada’s Concordia University, further mocked the famed publication, offering others this tongue-in-cheek advice: ‘The only way to fight against the white supremacy roots of exercise is by leading a sedentary life.
‘Say no to exercise as a means of being an ally to people of color,’ the academic wrote.
Hundreds of other users expressed similar frustrations with the magazine – which itself celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
One user wrote of how low he believes the publication has fallen in that span.
‘Wow. There is nothing at your company that even reminds me of legitimate news anymore. Running is definitely racist,’ they wrote.
Another expressed similar disbelief, writing simply, ‘This has to be a joke,’ while others insisted that such a story had to be satirical.
‘I thought this was the Onion at it again. then I see it’s Time,’ one dumbfounded user wrote. ‘I’m so old I actually remember Time as being respected. Those days are gone. This is embarrassing.’
Another user juxtaposed the jarring article with a recent report from Scientific American Journal that insists that heightened rates of obesity amongst black women is a result of structural and institutionalized racism
The user, sharing a tweet from the publication touting the academic report, wrote. ‘So yesterday was a @TIME article explicating the ‘white supremacist roots of exercise.’
‘Now @sciam [Scientific American Journal] suggests a concern for obesity in black women is inherently racist. What’s next? Proper nutrition is a KKK plot? The Nazi roots of concern for handwashing?’
The pronounced response would continue on into Thursday, with many tweeting at and tagging Time directly.
Meanwhile, Petrzela – in the story in question – makes statements like ‘How did U.S. exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?’ and that exercise in the US is ‘totally part of a white supremacy project.’
Petrzela, a history teacher at posh Manhattan private school The New School, also points to the fact that ‘until the 1920s or so… what would be considered today fat or bigger, was actually desirable and actually signified affluence.’
However, the progressive writes that as foods became more accessible to the masses, and ‘as more people were doing sedentary white-collar work and had access to cars and leisure,’ somebody who could resist those foods, all while exercising and maintaining a thin body, was seen as ‘more desirable.’
A tweet from Time sharing her article garnered hundreds of comments – mostly expressing disapproval – with few likes in comparison. The pronounced response would continue on into Thursday, with many tweeting at and tagging the 99-year old mag directly
Petrzela, who works at a notoriously progressive school that charges students $44,000 a year in tuition, told Time of her look into the origins of exercise in the US: ‘It was super interesting reading the reflections of fitness enthusiasts in the early 20th century.’
She explained: ‘They said we should get rid of corsets, corsets are an assault on women’s form, and that women should be lifting weights and gaining strength. At first, you feel like this is so progressive.
‘Then you keep reading, and they’re saying white women should start building up their strength because we need more white babies.
in the story in question, Petrzela, a teacher at posh Manhattan private school The New School, makes statements like ‘How did U.S. exercise trends go from reinforcing white supremacy to celebrating Richard Simmons?’ and that exercise is ‘part of a white supremacy project’
‘They’re writing during an incredible amount of immigration, soon after enslaved people have been emancipated.
‘This is totally part of a white supremacy project. So that was a real ‘holy crap’ moment as a historian, where deep archival research really reveals the contradictions of this moment.’
Petrzela, meanwhile, has penned other books expressing similar, including the recently released Fit Nation: The Pains & Pains of America’s Exercise Obsession.
A tweet from Time sharing her article garnered hundreds of comments – mostly expressing disapproval – with few likes in comparison.
The teacher, who holds a BA from Columbia and a Master’s and PhD from Stanford, has yet to comment on the backlash her statements have generated.
The publication recently came under fire for an article that compared comic-book superheroes to racist cops during the height of the Defund the Police movement in 2020, equating superheroes such as Batman and Spiderman to vigilante, hero-complex white cops who only pretend to protect minorities.
That story serves as just one example of prominent media publications touting woke, and in many cases, bizarre takes on the social and cultural climate and history of the US from publications like CNN and the Washington Post
That story serves as just one example of prominent media publications touting woke, and in many cases, bizarre takes on the social and cultural climate and history of the US from publications like CNN and the Washington Post.
Such claims include that Daylight Savings, as well as the lottery, is an inherently racist construct, and that this year’s Shark Week on the Discover Channel overrepresented white men – as well as too many men with the name ‘Mike.’
Time has yet to address the controversy.