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Intown Stars gym owner relieved of duties after calling parents ‘a…holes’ in Facebook post

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Intown Stars gym owner relieved of duties after calling parents ‘a…holes’ in Facebook post

File Photo Used for Illustration Purposes: Intown Stars, which has undergone expansion, was located at 2935 N Decatur Road but has since moved to DeKalb Industrial Way

This story has been updated.

Greater Decatur, GA — The owner of a popular local gym has been relieved of her duties after she used the company’s Facebook page to curse out her customers and bash a former coach.

Intown Stars founder and owner Anna Santiago made the comments in response to parents upset about her decision to fire the employee.

Commenting via the Intown Stars Facebook page in response to a post about the controversy, Santiago defended recent tuition increases saying, “Here’s the spreadsheet that shows our inflation-based price increases each year since 2019 for every one of our teams, which range from 2%-5% EVEN IN THE LAST YEAR WHICH HAD AN 8% INCREASE IN INFLATIONyou assholes.”

She also bashed the former gym coach and the parents of young athletes at the gym.

“You f*&!ing entitled, hostile assholes should learn some manners and some math,” she wrote at another point in the post, adding, “I’m so glad you’re gone…”

Santiago confirmed she made the posts in an email to Decaturish, saying, “I cut and pasted the wrong stupid document. That was my vent before edits. I deleted it.”

She asked Decaturish not to publish the screenshots, but they have been widely circulated online and multiple parents shared them with us. Here they are:

Director of Operations Larry Cainion responded to a follow-up email from Decaturish, pointing to a recent Facebook post that said Santiago had been relieved of her duties.

Here’s his full statement:

Dear Intown Stars Community,

In light of the recent events that do not reflect the vision of Intown Stars, effective immediately Anna Santiago has been removed from all Intown Stars processes, access, management, and decision making.

I, Larry Cainion will be stepping in as the Chief Operating Officer and will be fulfilling all duties, responsibilities, communication and decision making for Intown Stars. We are deeply saddened and horrified from the comments made that were directed towards the Intown Stars community that we cherish, respect and appreciate.

We hope that with this change in leadership and structure that you will give us the opportunity to earn your trust and support once again as we navigate through this most difficult time.

Please reach out to me at anytime at [email protected]


Larry Cainion and the Intown Stars Family

While the statement says Santiago “has been removed” from the company, Cainion confirmed, “No one can legally remove her as the sole owner of Intown Stars as it is an LLC.”

When asked who at the company has the power to remove her, Cainion declined to comment.

“I have no comment on how this was handled internally other than to say she has agreed to step away,” he said.

Cainion also emailed Intown customers urging them to stay with the business.

“Let me first say that Intown Stars as an organization does not support, agree with, or condone the remarks and comments made by its owner directed at the entire Intown Community and its families,” he wrote. “As as result, Anna Santiago, has been removed of her duties and I will be accepting all duties and responsibilities going forward.  The keyword in that last sentence is ‘responsibilities’!!  And for me that responsibility lies in earning your trust and support once again.  Although I am aware of the damage that has been done and the hurt that this has caused, I am hopeful that in time each of you will allow myself and my team, that in no way, shape, or form agree with the words shared by one person, the opportunity to build back that trust and allow us to once again provide a center for your child to grow, develop, and most importantly have fun!”

The email concludes by saying there will be a meeting with parents to discuss what happened and how Intown intends to move forward.

This is not the only controversy brewing related to Intown Stars. Shortly after this article was published, an attorney forwarded a federal race discrimination lawsuit filed against Intown by two former employees. The lawsuit says Intown retaliated against the employees following the filing of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaints against Intown. Decaturish is still reviewing the lawsuit and will publish a follow-up story about it at a later time.

Intown Stars opened in 2012. Santiago began the gymnastics program 10 years ago by teaching classes to her friends’ children in a Sunday Schoolroom at a neighborhood church. She was a gymnast who had taught gymnastics through college. She hadn’t run a gym before, but her executive background helped her learn how to do so.

Santiago moved Intown Stars into a space in Grant Park in 2015. Over the next couple of years, the classes and staff grew. In 2017, the program moved into an 18,000-square-foot warehouse on North Decatur Road. By 2018, Santiago expanded the space to 23,000 square feet. In 2020, Intown Stars Gymnastics was named one of the fastest-growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine.

In 2021, Intown announced a massive expansion. For more information about that, click here.

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