CrossFit CEO Steps Down After Offensive George Floyd Comments

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31:    Crossfit Inc. founder and CEO Greg Glassman (R) talks to employees prior to a presentation at the half street location in Washington, DC on July 31, 2015.  CrossFit is waging a war against new DC rules to regulate personal trainers, saying D.C. is a pawn in a commercial fight over personal fitness.  The city council is proposing licensure and regulation of personal trainers.  There is a fee involved.  If the law should pass, DC would be the first municipality in the nation to do so.  Crossfit Inc. officials are fighting the proposed law and say that they are trying to legislate something that they do not understand.   (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Crossfit Inc. founder and CEO Greg Glassman (R) talks to employees prior to a presentation at the Half street location in Washington, DC on July 31, 2015. CrossFit is waging a war agains... WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Crossfit Inc. founder and CEO Greg Glassman (R) talks to employees prior to a presentation at the Half street location in Washington, DC on July 31, 2015. CrossFit is waging a war against new DC rules to regulate personal trainers, saying D.C. is a pawn in a commercial fight over personal fitness. The city council is proposing licensure and regulation of personal trainers. There is a fee involved. If the law should pass, DC would be the first municipality in the nation to do so. Crossfit Inc. officials are fighting the proposed law and say that they are trying to legislate something that they do not understand. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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June 10, 2020 9:25 a.m.

The CEO of CrossFit is stepping down after his tweet about George Floyd sparked a social media backlash and led to affiliated gyms and Reebok cutting ties with the exercise brand.

Greg Glassman said in a statement posted on CrossFit Inc.’s website late Tuesday that he decided to retire. Glassman had apologized earlier for tweets that sparked online outrage by connecting Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, and the coronavirus pandemic. He said he had made a mistake and should have been more sensitive, but denied being racist.

“On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members,” he said. “I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions.”

Glassman had angered many with his glib response to a tweet by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health research group, which said, “Racism is a public health issue.”

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“It’s FLOYD-19,” he replied on Saturday, and in a second tweet criticized the group’s “failed” quarantine model and accused it of attempting to “model a solution to racism.”

Some 1,250 gyms have now severed links with CrossFit, according to industry blog Morning Chalk Up.

Floyd died while handcuffed after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. His death set off protests around the U.S. and the globe.

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