The CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, has resigned from his position after remarks about George Floyd sparked a wave of outrage, with critics insisting he made light of the man’s death on Twitter and in audio from a leaked call.
Glassman announced the resignation on Tuesday, acknowledging that a tweet posted over the weekend “created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members.
Since I founded CrossFit 20 years ago, it has become the world’s largest network of gyms… I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions. They are too important to jeopardize.
The brief offending tweet was sent to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) on Saturday, which in an earlier post deemed racism a “public health issue.” Responding, Glassman joked “It’s FLOYD-19,” immediately kicking off a storm of criticism, with Reebok vowing that its contract with CrossFit will end after 2020 due to the post.
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Glassman also came under fire on Tuesday after leaked audio from a Zoom call with gym affiliates and company staff was published by BuzzFeed. The CEO is heard saying: “I doubt very much that they’re mourning for Floyd,” referring to protesters, adding “I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community.” When a gym owner asked why the company hadn’t yet made a public statement on Floyd’s death, Glassman further said “we’re not mourning for George Floyd – I don’t think me or any of my staff are.”
In a public apology on Sunday, Glassman said his tweet was a “mistake,” but insisted it was “not racist,” adding that “Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that.” The company itself has also since put out a statement explaining the situation, acknowledging to customers “we disappointed you.”
Dave Castro – Director of the CrossFit Games and Co-Director of Training – will take Glassman’s place as CEO at the company.
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