Racist Tweet by CrossFit CEO Sparks Outrage, And Reebok Cuts Ties
CrossFit's CEO posted a tweet that prompted outrage and mass defections by members of the workout community, and partner company Reebok cut all ties, as did CrossFit affiliated gyms, sponsored athletes, and customers, who are walking away in droves from the once-popular branded workout program. Greg Glassman, 63, CEO and founder of CrossFit, tweeted over the weekend in response to a tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which called racism a public health issue; Glassman tweeted, “It’s FLOYD-19.”
Glassman's tweet appears to mock the Black Lives Matter movement, and while many companies have posted in solidarity and are taking action to bring about needed change, CrossFit had remained silent, according to CNN. The tweet immediately drew outraged reactions from the CrossFit community, and the brand's main sponsor, Reebok, announced that the company would end its partnership with CrossFit. Reebok will also stop being the licensee of CrossFit apparel. Reebok was quoted by Business Insider:
“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.”
Immediately a spate of gyms that work with CrossFit as affiliates also announced they would cut all ties with the workout company. The posts were swift and plentiful, breaking off from CrossFit throughout the ensuing hours and days. Athletes followed suit, and the reaction was a virtual wave of outrage in the fitness community.
CrossFit Athletes Walk Away from the Brand
CrossFit endorsed athletes also cut ties. Professional CrossFit athlete Rich Froning, who has won the CrossFit Games four times, criticized Glassman’s comments on Instagram, where he has 1.4 million followers, saying the last few days made it “impossible to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed.”Images
CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey said she was "incredibly saddened, disappointed and frustrated" at the company and Glassman, adding: "My future with Crossfit is unclear and depends on the direction of HQ."
Other CrossFit Athletes including last year’s second-place competitor, Noah Ohlsen, announced he would not compete in this year’s games.
CNN reported that gym owners said they were dismayed by CrossFit's failure to quickly put out a statement expressing solidarity with protesters or support for black athletes, as dozens of corporations did in the days following George Floyd's death.
Since it was posted, the racist tweet was removed from Glassman's account.