CrossFit CEO and founder Greg Glassman apologized for mocking a political statement framing “racism” as an epidemiological issue. He issued the apology via CrossFit’s Twitter profile.
The following statement was attributed to Glassman: “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by 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.”
.@CrossFitCEO: “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by 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.
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 8, 2020
Glassman mocked a declaration of “racism” as “a public health issue” from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an organization located at the University of Washington and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He also criticized false projections of coronavirus infections and deaths.
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 6, 2020
Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is “accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots.” Thanks!
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 7, 2020
Business Insider sought comment from Reebok, CrossFit’s largest apparel partner, after Glassman’s tweets. Reebok, which openly supports the Black Lives Matter campaign, immediately ended its partnership with the fitness company. As similar news media outlets followed Business Insider’s lead, CrossFit-affiliated gyms began abandoning the company.
Reebok, a subsidiary of Adidas, currently runs an animated banner on its website with the following message:
Without the Black community, Reebok would not exist. America would not exist. We are not asking you to buy our shoes. We are asking you to walk in someone else’s. To Stand in solidarity. To find our common ground of HUMANITY.
CrossFit is an exercise and fitness brand that licenses its trademark to partnered gyms. The company’s business model also sells training certifications and sponsors the CrossFit Games, an annual athletic fitness competition. It was estimated to have a $4 billion valuation by Forbes in 2017.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.