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Brands, gyms, and athletes are ending their affiliations with CrossFit after CEO Greg Glassman tweeted an insensitive remark about George Floyd and the current Black Lives Matter protests happening around the country.
On June 4, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tweeted a statement which called racism and discrimination “critical public health issues that demand an urgent response.” In his June 6 response to the tweet, Glassman replied “It’s FLOYD-19.” Glassman’s tweet refers to George Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 when a police officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes.
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Members of the CrossFit community immediately took issue with the tweet. Responses to the tweet from fitness enthusiasts called the statement “tone-deaf,” “disgusting” and “racist.” Many also called on affiliates and sponsors to drop partnerships with the CrossFit brand, leading companies like Reebok and CrossFit pros like Rich Froning to denounce the brand.
In a statement to Footwear News, Reebok said, “Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ. We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community.”
In an Instagram video statement, CrossFit pro and CrossFit Games four-time champion Froning said he doesn’t “condone or support” Glassman’s comments, but is still invested in a CrossFit community that is “inclusive and up-lifting.”
“While I’ve struggled with some decisions made by CFHQ over the last couple of years…That is nothing compared to what has happened the last couple of days and has made it impossible to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed,” Froning wrote in the caption of the Instagram post. “While I’m considering what our next steps are, we cannot and will not stand with these comments or beliefs.”
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Gyms affiliated with CrossFit are also calling off partnerships—and changing their names to exclude CrossFit. A spreadsheet circulating among fitness communities on Reddit lists gyms around the country that are dropping “CrossFit” from their names and denouncing the brand. At press time, more than 50 gyms were included on the list.
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