A tweet from the founder and CEO of CrossFit has prompted Reebok to announce it will end its relationship with the fitness network by the end of the year. Greg Glassman, who founded the business with his wife in 2000, has since apologized.
What We Know:
- The tweet in question came in response to a statement from the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
- The statement called racism a public health issue. Glassman replied with a joke about COVID-19, which the IHM has covered since March. Specifically, he called it “FLOYD-19”. Glassman did not just stop there, he came around the very next day to begin criticizing the IHM’s advocacy for quarantines and lamenting national riots.
Your failed model quarantined us and now you're going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd's brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is "accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots." Thanks!
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 7, 2020
- A tweet equating a response to systemic racism and police brutality to a global pandemic was bound to draw backlash, and that eventually included one of CrossFit’s biggest corporate partners.
- Reebok announced to Footwear News on Sunday that it has ended discussions about extending its partnership with CrossFit and will allow its relationship to come to an end this year.
- One CrossFit gym announced it would cease its partnership and posted Glassman’s reply to an email it had sent questioning his response to the pandemic and protests around Floyd’s death. In an unhinged reply, Glassman questioned the writer’s mental health, called her attitude “disgusting” and deemed her “evil” and “a really s—- person”.
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. I was trying to stick it to the @IHME_UW for their invalidated models resulting in needless, economy-wrecking, life-wrecking lockdown,
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 8, 2020
This isn’t the first incident a CrossFit executive has triggered a backlash, as the company once fired its chief knowledge officer Russell Berger after he called celebrating LGBTQ pride a “sin.” Shortly before Berger’s firing, Glassman was quoted as saying “He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f— up’ and hide out for a while. It’s sad.”