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I have a true sad tale to share of the old/middle aged men at the downtown YMCA of London Ontario that is set in the prestigious Plus male locker-room.

A very vocal small group of loud mouthed males have made their own playground of the locker room in the morning. Constant daily trash-talking, demeaning women, gays and various different nationalities to amuse themselves at the expense of others is the norm.

They are out of touch with the new reality of what constitutes proper behavior.

The majority of members have had to endure in silence their displeasure that has changed the tenure of acceptable demeanor at the Y.

I have been told by some that since it is a male locker room without females in attendance that such behavior is to be expected and therefore okay. Shh, what goes on in the locker-room is not to be aired to outsiders.

Take a visit to the, Bob Hayward, Stoney Creek YMCA’s men’s locker rooms and enjoy the respect/cordiality that the members show to each other.

Ella and I volunteer our time at the St Joseph’s Soup Kitchen that feeds 500 poor people a day where there a sense of decorum and good manners.

A few of us have taken our concerns to the management while others have shook their heads in disbelief and did not renew their memberships. Sadly, too many of our friends have shown their displeasure with their feet walking away from the problem; not wanting to make waves.

The Mission statement of the YMCA is: "a multi service charity that provides opportunities for personal growth in spirit, mind and body for all people of all backgrounds, beliefs and abilities."

Nice sentiments but the reality sometimes of what is supposed to be does not correlate into acceptable behaviour.

Edmond Burke summed up my sentiments: "Evil will triumph only when good men/women choose to do nothing."

I took exception to the bad manners and joined with other like-minded members and voiced my opinion to the management of my displeasure. I have found there is a price for speaking up: a small group of members no longer acknowledge my being and shun me. Knowing what I know now it was a small price to pay so that people would not be maligned.

As a result of the protests the offending members were finally asked to leave the downtown Y. Society has changed very slowly but bad language with every second word starting with "F" is no longer considered proper. Racial, homophobic, sexual slurs are in bad taste and should not be tolerated by society. Good riddance to the Mayor of Toronto who has shown his utter contempt for others with his cursing and bad manners to his fellow members of the city council along with his wife.

Billionaire Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball tea has been fined two and one half million dollars along with a life time ban from the sport for his racial comments.

My friend, John, taught me that there are errors of commission where our behaviour is suspect, and errors of omission where we do not speak out when we see injustice done to others.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com