Chef Rush believes in defending people’s freedom but also feels that people have become complacent and entitled.
Chef Rush may be best known as the “jacked White House Chef” but he also spent a great deal of time in the military as a Master Sergeant. He’s fought for America and he understands the freedom and rights that he was fighting for. That’s why we felt it would be great to catch up and get his thoughts on the recent comments made by Arnold Schwarzenegger regarding mask mandates and freedom. In our latest GI Exclusive, Chef Rush breaks down the line between freedom, safety, and responsibility as members of the community.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger did a brief interview on CNN last month, he made a statement that reverberated across the bodybuilding world – “Screw your freedom.” In context, he was speaking about the greater responsibility that comes with freedom and urged those to wear a mask to help others during a time of need. But some saw this as another attempt to muzzle American citizens (somewhat literally) and take their rights away.
The fallout was swift and bold. Many bodybuilders made public statements condemning Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some even took down his posters from their wall. In the biggest move, RedCon1 pulled sponsorship from the upcoming Arnold Classic 2021.
We previously spoke with Victor Martinez on his thoughts about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comments where he defended Arnold’s statements. Now we’ve reconnected with Chef Rush to get his reaction on not only Arnold’s comments but also the fitness world’s reaction to them. Rush has spent a good portion of his life defending America in the military – so he can bring in a unique viewpoint as both a defender of this country and as a bodybuilder.
Chef Rush overall seems to defend Arnold Schwarzenegger’s statement but he also defends those who chose to get angry about it. That’s what freedom of speech is all about. Arnold can say what he wants and those who react can do so in turn. But when it comes to the concept of freedom beyond speech – the freedom to wear or not wear a mask – Rush draws a much more nuanced line.
Chef Rush will not dismiss anyone for their comments – we all can have different ideals. But he does believe that it’s important to do the right thing beyond freedom.
“I can’t tell him [Arnold Schwarzenegger] how to say it. He can only say what he can say the same way you can or the way they handle their situation,” Chef Rush says in our interview. He goes on:
“It’s not about that. It’s about doing the right thing because if I went around kids, if I went around older people, even my own kids and things like that – it would be the wrong thing to do. Even no matter what I believed in.”
Chef Rush also points out how easy it is to feel one way about something until it affects a person directly:
“It will be different if it was your family. If it was somebody you love. We are so complacent and entitled now. Freedom of speech is what it is. But if you go into an airport and they tell you put that mask on, guess what you are going to do? You’re going to put that mask on or you’re not going to fly. You’re freedom is taken away. If you run that light and a cop sees you, it’s taken away. That’s just a simple matter of fact of it. So don’t get mad that I’m saying this. And if you do get mad of me saying it – then that’s your freedom to do so. And that’s my freedom to not care.”
Ultimately, Chef Rush admits that he has heard far more offensive and anti-freedom statements made to him throughout his lifetime. As a black man, he’s had numerous situations where he faced racism and was told he deserved less because of the color of his skin. He understands they have the freedom to say those things – but that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.
Overall – it seems Chef Rush’s sentiments are that this whole situation has been blown out of proportion. He wants to focus on respecting each other and doing what’s right – not always what is easy.
You can watch Chef Rush share his full thoughts on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comments in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!