On call, the owner of a gym in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Floyd was killed and protests began over his death, explained that her community and members of her gym mourned Floyd’s death. She asked why the company did not make a statement about Floyd’s death, according to a recording of a call received by CNN Business. There were about 10 CrossFit subsidiary owners and several company executives on call, and it lasted nearly two hours.
“We’re not grieving for George Floyd. I don’t think we’re any of the staff either,” Glassman said. “Can you tell me why I would grieve for him?”
Glassman said he thinks Floyd’s death “has nothing to do with the race” and that he believes Floyd’s death was part of a conspiracy to cover up money laundering. There is no record of such a conspiracy.
Asked about a call regarding CrossFit’s response to the protests, Glassman said: “I love reconstruction, I love help. I’d like to make an anonymous donation for reconstruction. But I don’t want any of that or support for anything that looks like a mess.”
Gym owners told CNN they were putting pressure on CrossFit for days to make a statement expressing support for protesters or the Black Lives Matter movement, as many other companies have done since Floyd’s death.
Although no one in the call called him a racist, Glassman was concerned about the fact that he was labeled as such in a separate conversation.
“Yesterday, for the first time in my life, they called me a racist,” Glassman said on call. “The first time someone even hinted at it. And it didn’t hurt, it made me angry. I had the same reaction as when someone would paint a ‘pedophile’ on my front door.”
He also said he believes CrossFit, as a fitness method, helps all types of people.
“I want to build CrossFit gyms that run for free in relaxed neighborhoods. We’ve been playing with that for a long time,” Glassman said. “Now I hate even talking about it, and before this it was all I was talking about … But now I have to say something special or I [expletive] racist. And now this gym will look like I did, that’s how it is [expletive] reparations or something. “
Last week gyms began rejecting their CrossFit connections because of what some gym owners considered a failure of the company to adequately declare in favor of the black community.
Then on Saturday night, after the call, Glassman posted several tweets criticizing a statement by the Institute for Health Metrics and an assessment that racism is a public health issue. “Floyd-19,” Glassman tweeted in response to the Institute’s tweet. In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the Institute of Health’s coronavirus model “failed” and criticized it for modeling a “solution to racism”.
CrossFit and Glassman did not respond to requests to comment on this story.
“The first would be the Chinese to let this virus out of the lab,” Glassman said at the call. “And it really happened.”