Wendell pool that banned baggy pants, dreadlocks will close at end of 2019 season

WENDELL, N.C. (WTVD) -- A private outdoor recreation center accused of making racist pool rules this summer will be closing at the end of the year.

The Outdoor Recreation Center (ORC) of Wendell announced Labor Day 2019 (Sept. 2) will be its final day of operation. ORC said it plans to close because its owners, Johnny and Teresa Freeman, are going to retire.

ORC has been open in Wendell for the last six years.

In June 2019, posted pool rules caught the attention of a lot of people on social media.

One of the rules stated, "No baggy pants, no dread-locks/weaves/extensions or revealing clothes will be permitted or you will be asked to leave."

Many people online said that rule was racist because of the language it used to specifically and negatively target certain people.

The Freemans responded saying the rules were not intended to be racist.

They said they created the rules to discourage people from walking around children "with their britches down" and to keep artificial hair from clogging up the pool's pump.

A Certified Pool Owners instructor with more than 50 years of experience said he'd never heard of artificial hair clogging up a pool pump.

ORC sent the following message to pool members:

"To Our ORC Family:
Johnny turns 65 in January, therefore, we have decided to retire and spend more time with our family. Regretfully, after this season, we will be closing ORC after Monday, Labor Day. All of you will be greatly missed as we have watched your children grow up. Thank you for all the support through the last 6 years.
With love and much appreciation!"
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