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CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman resigns over George Floyd comments

Reebok had earlier announced an end to its partnership with the brand over the comments  

Gino Spocchia
Wednesday 10 June 2020 09:33 BST
George Floyd protests: the understated peaceful side of the movement

CrossFit CEO and co-founder Greg Glassman has stepped down from his position following controversial comments on George Floyd last weekend which have seen sports brands quit ties with the company.

Mr Glassman’s resignation comes less than a week after he posted two insensitive messages about George Floyd on Twitter, whose death in Minneapolis police custody sparked worldwide protests against racism.

In a statement on Tuesday night, Mr Glassman said he was retiring from CrossFit Inc after he “created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members”.

On Saturday, he wrote that “It’s FLOYD-19”, in response to a Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tweet that said “racism and discrimination as as public health issue”.

He later added another post that read: “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!’”

The CrossFit CEO issued an apology hours later after the tweets, which compared Mr Floyd’s death to the Covid-19 pandemic, were condemned.

“I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday,” said Mr Glassman on Sunday night. “My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake.”

That apology was not enough for Adidas AG-owned Reebok, who announced on Sunday that it was ending its longtime partnership with CrossFit “in light of recent events”.

That comes as BuzzFeed News learned about controversial comments Mr Glassman had made during a private Zoom call with gym owners, some hours before his tweets on Saturday.

“We’re not mourning for George Floyd — I don’t think me or any of my staff are,” Mr Glassman allegedly said on that call. “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do — other than that, give me another reason,”

The ex-CEO’s resignation was announced hours after those comments were reported on Tuesday night.

According to the firm, Dave Castro has been appointed as the new CEO.

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