Reebok breaks ties with CrossFit after George Floyd’s tweet

Gym owners say they were frightened due to CrossFit’s failure to make a quick statement expressing solidarity with protesters or support for black athletes, as dozens of corporations did in the days following George Floyd’s death. Then on Saturday, CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman announced a few controversial tweets citing Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing outrage online.

This has led Reebok and other partners in the brand to distance themselves from CrossFit. Glassman apologized and returned the tweets on Sunday.

“I, CrossFit HQ and the CrossFit community don’t tolerate racism,” Glassman said he posted on Twitter, “I made a mistake with the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain I caused. It was a mistake, not a racist one, but a mistake. Floyd is a hero in a black community, not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that, and it’s not. I’m sorry about that. “

But many gym owners say tweeters weren’t the only problem – the silence was too much before them.

“Watching the Covid-19 pandemic and then the United States waking up and fighting for social justice in a really big way and watching CrossFit say nothing was really painful,” said Alyssa Royse, owner of the Rocket Community Fitness gym in Seattle, Washington. .

CrossFit did not respond to requests to comment on this story.

Royse has changed the name of her gym from Rocket CrossFit to Rocket Community Fitness. CrossFit gym affiliates pay the company an annual fee for using the brand in their names and descriptions of CrossFit-style exercise courses, but otherwise the gyms operate independently of the company.

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“Rocket, as a brand, couldn’t match a bigger brand that wasn’t on the right side of history … It’s a huge global behemoth that just said nothing,” Royse said.

CrossFit industry blog Morning Chalk Up He said compiled a list of 210 gyms who have given up affiliation since Monday afternoon. CNN Business could not independently confirm this value.

‘Colossal wrong step’

Shortly after protests began during the last week of May, CrossFit gym owners and athletes began wondering on online forums when the company would make a statement.

“Many gyms emailed and emailed,” said Lieven DeGeyndt, owner of Petworth Fitness in Washington, DC, formerly Petworth CrossFit.

“We are not asking them to lead protests or become activists, but we have asked something“DeGeyndt said.” As a business owner, I understand that this is a challenge, but here there is a line between right and wrong. “

Royse says she sent a message to CrossFit leaders on June 3 explaining her decision to leave the membership and invited the company to come forward.

“I had a long relationship with the top leadership at headquarters,” Royse said. “I was really worried that they made this colossal wrong step not only in the arc of justice, but also in the health of the brand.”

DeGeyndt’s Petworth Fitness announced statement on Instagram June 5 explaining his decision to give up belonging to CrossFit.

“This is a difficult letter to write, but we want to keep it informed [CrossFit] and as many other affiliates as possible: CrossFit’s inactivity in terms of anti-racist work is unacceptable, and as a result we decide to disable CrossFit. As a brand that preached to be “for everyone,” the deafening silence about current and past topics of racism tells us everything we need to know. ”

Petworth’s $ 3,000 annual membership fee to CrossFit was due to arrive this month. Instead, the gym plans to donate money to Black Lives Matter and know their rights, a nonprofit founded by former San Francisco 49ers striker Colin Kaepernick.
On June 5, CrossFit finally released a statement saying he “had embarrassing debates about injustice, racism and all forms of hatred”, asking how it could better support the black CrossFit community.

“Members of this community feel neglected, left out, trapped and hurt. Some are isolated, angry and confused, while others are actively looking for ways to bring about real change. See you. We hear you,” the statement said.

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Lost spouses

But the next day, June 6, Glassman again drew criticism for several tweets in which he criticized a statement by the Institute of Health Metrics and an assessment that racism is a public health issue.

“Floyd-19,” Glassman replied on Saturday.

In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the Institute of Health’s coronavirus model “failed” and criticized it for modeling a “solution to racism.”

“The brutal assassination of George Floyd caused riots at the national level. The quarantine itself ‘is being monitored at all ages and under all political regimes, under suspicion, mistrust and riots,’ he wrote.

After Glassman’s tweets, Reebok said he would not renew the brand’s partnership with CrossFit.

“Our partnership with CrossFit HQ ends later this year,” Reebok said in a statement to CNN Business. “We recently discussed a new agreement, however, given recent events, we have made the decision to end the partnership with the CrossFit office. We will meet the remaining contractual obligations in 2020.”

Sports equipment manufacturer Rogue Fitness he also distanced himself from the company, and in a statement says he plans to review his work with the company going forward.

“Rogue does not support the latest statements by CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman,” the statement said. “His comments are unacceptable under all conditions.”

multiple other gyms disabled after tweeting.
“West Fitness does not support the racially insensitive comments of CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, owner of West Fitness (formerly CrossFit West) in Santa Cruz, California,” he said on Instagram on Sunday in announcing his decision to separate. “His comments are unacceptable and he is not one of the leaders we want to represent.”
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