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How St. Pete’s CrossFit community is responding to CEO’s Black Lives Matter controversy

Megan Holmes



Local CrossFit gyms respond to national controversy. Photo taken from CrossFit9 Facebook Page.

St. Petersburg’s CrossFit community is in the midst of responding to national backlash against the CrossFit brand after inflammatory tweets, emails and comments were made by CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman over the weekend.

In response to a tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Education stating, “Racism Is A Public Health Issue,” Glassman responded with a tweet of his own, which said, “It’s FLOYD-19.”

— Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (@IHME_UW) June 6, 2020

The tweet, which many CrossFit affiliate owners and athletes called out as racist, was quickly condemned by CrossFit affiliates and CrossFit Games athletes across the globe. Sponsors, including FitAid, Rogue Fitness and NoBull have condemned the comments and threatened to end their sponsorship of CrossFit HQ an the CrossFit Games events.

Reebok, the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games, publicly stated Sunday that they have ended negotiations for future seasons along with their partnership with CrossFit HQ. Reebok’s contract with CrossFit HQ and the CrossFit Games is set to expire at the end of the 2020 season.

“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,” Reebok said in a statement emailed to Footwear News.

“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.”

Glassman later explained that his tweet was trying to “stick it to” the Institute for Health Metrics and Education because of the institute’s statements and actions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including “their invalidated models resulting in needless, economy-wrecking, life-wrecking lockdown.”

However, Glassman’s tweet comes shortly after the release of an inflammatory email sent from Glassman to Alyssa Royse of Rocket Community Fitness (formerly Rocket CrossFit) when Royse called out what she saw as “absent leadership at a time when leadership is most important, and a moral ambiguity that doesn’t jibe with the zeitgeist or our own values.”

“The George Floyd murder threw our country into massive unrest,” Royse continued. “CrossFit is the only major brand I can think of that has failed to take a stand, make a statement, show support for social justice in general and Black lives in specific.”

Glassman responded with an email questioning the affiliate owner’s mental health, calling her “delusional.” He concluded, “I am ashamed of you.”

Glassman’s response sparked intense outrage within the CrossFit community and in less than 24 hours, hundreds of affiliates have publicly vowed to end their affiliation with CrossFit Inc. and hundreds more have condemned Glassman’s words.

Here’s what local St. Pete CrossFit gyms have had to say. Responses from CrossFit9, CrossFit 727, Skyway CrossFit and CrossFit St. Pete are included. Burg CrossFit and Burg CrossFit North, as well as Hell’s Bells CrossFit have not made statements on the controversy.






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