CrossFit is under fire after a controversial tweet by the fitness regime’s founder and at least one local gym is joining a national movement to cut ties with the brand.
On Saturday, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation tweeted: “Racism is a Public Health Issue.”
In a response, also on Twitter, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman said,“It’s Floyd-19,” a reference to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has killed 400,000 people around the world this year.
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 6, 2020
Floyd, who was African American, died two weeks ago after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes. The incident was captured on video and has sparked worldwide protests.
Following Glassman’s tweet, shoe company Reebok ended its partnership and gyms across the country parted ways with the CrossFit brand, including Code: 541 in Bend, which also operates Sunriver CrossFit.
“Our core values here at 541 has always been integrity,” said owner Ian Ciurej. “We have always been about inclusiveness and we feel like what Greg Glassman said and his response afterwards was enough for us to see where they stand. We don’t think they fit our values any more. We just don’t align.”
Code: 541 said their classes won’t change, it’s the CrossFit branding they are parting ways with.
According to CrossFit’s website, gyms pay $3,000 a year to be affiliated with the brand and to be able to market themselves as an official “CrossFit” gym.
Glassman has since apologized for his tweets, saying it was a mistake and not meant to be seen as a racist or insensitive remark.