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09 Jun 2020

CrossFit CEO resigns as George Floyd tweet rocks the company
BY Megan Whitby

CrossFit started in 2011 and has since grown to encompass 14,000 affiliate gyms worldwide

CrossFit started in 2011 and has since grown to encompass 14,000 affiliate gyms worldwide
photo: Shutterstock/ 4 PM production

CrossFit founder and CEO, Greg Glassman, has resigned following a backlash over his controversial tweet relating to the murder of George Floyd.

On 6 June, Glassman responded to a tweet by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) which read: “Racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response.” Glassman referenced the COVID-19 pandemic, replying with: “It’s Floyd-19.”

There has since been public outcry over the tweet – which has been deleted from Glassman’s account – and multiple franchised CrossFit gyms have announced they’re dropping their affiliation with the company.

Retail giant, Reebok, has confirmed it’s ending its partnership with CrossFit – which was in the process of being extended – at the end of 2020.

The following day, Glassman issued a public apology, saying: “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake with the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake."

The effect of Glassman's tweet was compounded after a screenshot of an email exchange between himself and the well-known CrossFit community member and nine-year affiliate owner of Seattle’s Rocket CrossFit, Alyssa Royse, went viral.

Royse initiated the exchange by emailing Glassman and CrossFit execs to say that Rocket ‘will be changing its name to Rocket Community Fitness, and likely disaffiliating from CrossFit when it’s time to renew’.

She claimed the brand was losing value and that its silence during the Black Lives Matter movement has been thoroughly disappointing.

According to the photo, Glassman responded: “I sincerely believe the quarantine has adversely impacted your mental health.”

He called Royse “deluded” and “manipulative” and concluded by saying “you’re doing your best to brand us as racist when you know it’s bullshit. That makes you a really shitty person...you've let your politics warp you into something that strikes me as wrong to the point of evil.”

This exchange occurred before Glassman posted his controversial tweet.

In a recent development, he has now announced his resignation as CrossFit CEO and that he will be succeeded by Dave Castro, director of the CrossFit Games, and co-director of Training.

CrossFit started in 2011 and has since grown to encompass 14,000 affiliate gyms worldwide.



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