Founder of CrossFit issues apology for negative comment about racial equality protests
BATON ROUGE - A number of CrossFit-affiliated gyms across the country, including several in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, are cutting ties with the company after its chief executive officer made negative comments about racial inequality protests on his Twitter account.
According to The Advocate, when the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent research institute at the University of Washington in Seattle, on Saturday tweeted: "Racism is a Public Health Issue," CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman responded on Twitter with, "It's Floyd-19" referencing COVID-19, the novel coronavirus pandemic that has killed 400,000 people around the world.
Since then, Baton Rouge's Red Stick CrossFit has announced that it is leaving the organization and changing its name and Geaux CrossFit has not yet made a decision whether to stay or leave, its owner said on Monday.
In New Orleans, four locations responded to the executive's controversial tweet.
Krewe de CrossFit decided to de-affiliate with CrossFit.
One of the coaches at CrossFit NOLA started a petition asking for change in CrossFit leadership and said that if that doesn't happen, the organization plans to cancel its affiliation, according to its Facebook page.
Big Easy CrossFit's owner said he is "evaluating our next steps as a community" and "will no longer be loyal to someone or something that does not share these values (of inclusivity)."
And while CrossFit Algiers denounced the CEO's comments, it did not publicly commit to de-affiliation.
Andrew Chicoine, who co-owns Red Stick Community Fitness with his wife Melissa Chicoine, said that the "insensitive" comments by the CrossFit CEO were the final straw.
"He has been known in the last couple of years to be a loose cannon with his mouth," Andrew Chicoine said. "I'm not OK with his lack of sensitivity and disregard for what's going on. You can't have any mocking tone about what's happening right now."
Red Stick CrossFit, which has been open for nine years in Mid-City Baton Rouge, is changing its name to Red Stick Community Fitness and ending its affiliation with the brand.
After Reebok, a major sponsor of the business, cut ties with CrossFit, the athletic Glassman issued a public apology for his tweet.
Glassman wrote in an apology, “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake.”
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