Reebok, a leader among brands, has become a leader for a different reason. Reebok is leading the charge encouraging brands and athletes to follow suit in cutting ties with CrossFit because founder and CEO Greg Glassman tweeted, “It’s Floyd-19” in response to a tweet about racism becoming a public health issue.
Furious over the insensitive tweet, Reebok ended their 10-year deal as CrossFit’s sponsor and licensee of CrossFit apparel.
“Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. 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.”
Rich Froning, a professional CrossFit athlete, who won the CrossFit Games four times took to Instagram. He criticized Glassman’s comments to his 1.4 million followers. He said that the last few days made it “impossible to stay loyal to leadership who makes callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed.”
Tia-Clair Toomey, a CrossFit Games champion, expressed that she was “incredibly saddened, disappointed, and frustrated” at the company and Glassman.
“My future with CrossFit is unclear and depends on the direction on HQ.”
Noah Ohlsen announced that he would not be competing in this year’s CrossFit Games.
Affiliate gym, Rocket CrossFit based in Seattle, is one of 200 linked gyms to disaffiliate with the company. Additionally, the gym published a blog post that was a profanity-laden letter written by Glassman attacking the gym’s owner Alyssa Royse for trying to brand CrossFit as racist.
Glassman wrote: “I sincerely believe the quarantine has adversely impacted your mental health,” before calling Royse “delusional.” “You think you’re more virtuous than we are. It’s disgusting.”
Two hundred and twenty-seven fitness centers are no longer associating themselves with CrossFit.
Petworth Fitness in Washington DC posted on Instagram: “For a brand that has preached about being ‘for all,’ the deafening silence on current and past issues of racism tells us all we need to know.”
Additionally, Petworth Fitness will be donating its annual affiliate fee of $3,000 to the Black Lives Matter DC and Know Your Rights anti-racists campaign groups.
Rogue Fitness supplies CrossFit with the strength training equipment for the CrossFit Games. The supplier has decided to remove the CrossFit logo from this year’s event. As far as the future goes, Rogue said it will “work with CrossFit Games leadership to determine the best path forward.”
The “It’s Floyd-19” comment followed this tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: “Racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response. #BlackLivesMatter.”
Later, Glassman apologized on the CrossFit Twitter page. “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.”
As of Monday morning, June 8, 2020, the original tweet Glassman posted was still live on his personal account.
By Jeanette Vietti
Forbes: Reebok And Athletes Cut Ties With CrossFit Over Founder Greg Glassman’s George Floyd Tweet
BBC: Greg Glassman: Brands cut ties over CrossFit CEO’s George Floyd tweet
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