Update, Tuesday, June 9, 8:10 p.m.:
Glassman has announced he’s stepping down as CEO, BuzzFeed News reports. The report comes shortly after leaked audio in which he reportedly said he was not mourning for George Floyd.
Twenty-four hours after posting a tone-deaf tweet about the systemic racism in America, CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman has issued an apology. That apology comes after CrossFit was dropped by Reebok and multiple gyms as outrage about the tweet grew, reports The Daily Beast.
The uproar began when Glassman responded to a tweet by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. In that tweet, the organization pointed out that “[r]acism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response” and linked to a statement by IHME’s director stating that the racial disparities spawned by racism present a number of public health issues “including life expectancy, child mortality, education, and economic opportunity.”
Glassman, however, responded to the tweet by saying, “It’s FLOYD-19,” which is, of course, a reference to the deadly pandemic sweeping the globe. In a subsequent tweet, Glassman attacked the IHME, which monitors the COVID-19 coronavirus by saying, “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 6, 2020
Needless to say, the tweets did not sit well with people—or business partners. CrossFit partner Reebok quickly put out a statement, telling Footwear News:
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. We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community.
What doesn’t change is our commitment and dedication to CrossFitters and the passionate CrossFit community. We’re so thankful for the strong bonds we’ve created with coaches, box owners and athletes around the world over the past 10 years. We want to especially thank Dave Castro, Nicole Carroll, Andy Stumpf, Steve Weiss and Jimi Letchford, who were instrumental in ensuring Reebok was welcomed by the community, so that we could do our part to help more people improve their lives through fitness.
Several gyms that are also CrossFit partners announced they were severing ties with Glassman’s company as well.
We sent our letter today pic.twitter.com/TRqf6bItnJ
— Nick H (@NickHurndon) June 7, 2020
Shortly after, Glassman issued a statement apologizing for his comments, stating, “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. 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.”