CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman apologizes for George Floyd tweets after backlash

#CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman apologizes for George Floyd tweets after backlash

June 8, 2020 | 9:44am | Updated June 8, 2020 | 9:45am

CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman apologized for inflammatory Twitter posts about George Floyd that outraged the sport’s devotees and killed a big-name corporate partnership.

Glassman issued the mea culpa for mentioning Floyd — whose death at the hands of Minneapolis police has spurred nationwide protests — in tweets slamming lockdowns meant to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s FLOYD-19,” Glassman wrote Saturday in response to a tweet from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calling racism and discrimination “critical public health issues.”

The tweet sparked a quick backlash with critics accusing Glassman of racism and saying he made light of Floyd’s killing. Amid the furor, Reebook told Footwear News that it would end its partnership with CrossFit HQ and some of the company’s 15,000 affiliates said they were cutting ties.

In a Sunday statement posted to CrossFit’s Twitter account, Glassman said he was wrong to use Floyd’s name in expressing his outrage over the economic damage caused by coronavirus lockdowns. He called his remarks “not racist but a mistake.”

“Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim,” Glassman said in the statement. “I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that.”

Glassman had elaborated on his initial tweet earlier Sunday by suggesting that restrictions aimed at preventing COVID-19 from spreading were responsible for the civil unrest sparked by Floyd’s death.

Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally,” Glassman wrote in another reply to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. “Quarantine alone is ‘accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots.’ Thanks!”

But that didn’t stop some CrossFit champions from condemning Glassman. Canadian athlete Patrick Vellner called his comments “unequivocally wrong and insensitive to a population that is hurting.”

Three-time women’s champion Tia-Clair Toomey said she was “saddened, disappointed and frustrated” with Glassman, adding that her future with CrossFit was “unclear.” And 2008 CrossFit Games champion Jason Khalipa said his gym company would end its affiliation with CrossFit after more than a decade.

“Living better means nothing while standing by in the face of racism, injustice, and hate,” Khalipa said on Instagram. “We owe it to our team, members, and the greater community to stand for something better than what we are witnessing.”


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