June 9, 2020

Reebok and partner gyms walk away from CrossFit after CEO’s ‘FLOYD-19’ tweet

When Greg Glassman spoke out, his company’s partners said they’d seen enough.

The world is watching how brands respond to problems of racial inequity. Actions count more than words, and a slip-up can cost you dearly.

CrossFit learned that lesson the hard way this weekend.

Greg Glassman, the fitness company’s CEO, set off a firestorm when he responded to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s statement that “racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response.”

“It’s FLOYD-19,” he replied, invoking George Floyd’s name. “Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism?”

CrossFit’s partners had seen enough

Glassman’s tweets quickly caused a controversy in the CrossFit community.

Reebok said Sunday that it was ending its CrossFit partnership, and several gyms distanced themselves from Glassman’s comments.

On Sunday night, CrossFit posted an apology on its Twitter account. Glassman said he was trying to “stick it” to the institute for models that resulted in lockdowns, but said it was “wrong” to involve Floyd’s name.

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