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- CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman has questioned the existence of systemic racism and the intentions of protesters to demand justice for George Floyd during a virtual meeting with gym owners, Buzzfeed News reports.
- “I very much doubt they grieve for Floyd,” Glassman said on the call. “I don’t think there is a general protest against Floyd in any community.”
- Glassman’s remarks at the meeting came a few hours before he posted a controversial tweet comparing the riots in light of Floyd’s murder to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Gyms and brands such as Reebok, in light of Glassman’s reaction, have severed partnerships and ties with CrossFit.
- “Floyd is a hero in the Black community, not just a victim,” Glassman said in a public apology. “I had to be sensitive to that, and it wasn’t. I apologize for that.”
- Later Tuesday, Glassman announced he was stepping down as CEO of the popular fitness brand in light of his comments.
- Visit the Business Insider homepage to learn more stories.
Founder of CrossFit Greg Glassman has announced he is stepping down as CEO of a popular fitness brand after facing backlash for his remarks in response to the Black Lives Matter protests and the death of George Floyd.
According to a recording of a meeting received by BuzzFeed News, Glassman canceled protests demanding George Floyd’s justice during a virtual meeting with affiliated gym owners.
“We don’t grieve for George Floyd. I don’t think any of my staff do either,” Glassman said during the 75-minute meeting.
Asked by a Minneapolis gym owner why the brand did not send a message in solidarity with protesters Floyd or Black Blacks Matter, he said: “Can you tell me why I should cry for him? Than it’s a white matter – besides, give me another reason. “
BuzzFeed reported that Glassman held a rally, questioning the existence of systemic racism in the country and the motives for the protests sparked by Floyd’s death.
“I very much doubt they grieve for Floyd,” Glassman said on the call. “I don’t think there is a general protest against Floyd in any community.”
“Going into action? Burning the city? Is it action? Destroying black and minority business, is it an action?” On call, Glassman asked a series of questions to the owner of a Minneapolis gym, who described what gym members were doing to help the population affected by the looters and pogroms.
“I prefer a trial over murder rather than burning the city,” Glassman continued. “I think the law has a better response. I think burning your city to the ground and burning the police on the ground because a policeman was killed is very likely to be an accomplice in a fake ring – I’m just doing ‘You won’t have anything.’ .
While Glassman told people on call that “George’s murder was wrong,” he said he considered the city’s plans to fix the police “terrible.”
“It’s like the same thing. It’s like punishing the cops. It seems like blaming the police for all the problems of lost communities, and I don’t think anything could be further from the truth,” Glassman said on the call. “Have you ever traveled with cops in a harsh neighborhood? You don’t have to answer, but I’ve had many, many times, and it’s insanely hard work, and almost all men and women are professionals.”
Glassman posted unfounded conspiracy theories about Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck for a few minutes while Floyd was in custody. He pointed to the connection between Floyd and Shavin and how they are both worked in the same nightclub per year.
“Is it really interesting that George gets a fake and who comes besides the head of the dance club’s security service? Look – this thing will turn into a first-degree murder,” Glassman said during the conversation, according to a BuzzFeed News report.
“And it will be because I predict it – you have friends at the FBI in your area and they believe it was a first-degree murder, and are silent because of counterfeit money,” Glassman continued, repeating another unproven conspiracy theory. during the conversation.
Mike Young, who owns a gym in Morrisville, North Carolina, works with CrossFit and was on call, told Buzzfeed News that he was initially happy to talk to Glassman until the meeting turned into a “show” with CrossFit CEO “conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory.”
“My first thought: I thought maybe I was beaten, but I knew how he was, and I thought it was just batsh– crazy,” Young told Buzzfeed News. “I’m sitting there like, my jaw is dropping. Is this happening? What’s this guy?”
“It was just surreal,” Young added.
CrossFit officials did not immediately respond to either Buzzfeed News or Business Insider’s request for comment.
Hours after Glassman’s speech at the meeting, he posted a contradictory response to a tweet in which he stated that “racism is a health issue.”
Glass factory he replied saying, “It’s FLOYD-19,” a play about COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a coronavirus.
Twitter users ordered Glassman’s tweet, and some described him as deaf and insensitive. Gyms, including Jung’s gym, and brands like Reebok, partnerships and ties are canceled with CrossFit in light of Glassman’s reaction.
In a public apology, CrossFit wrote that Glassman’s remarks were “not racist but erroneous.”
“Floyd is a hero in the Black community, not just a victim,” Glassman apologized. “I had to be sensitive to that, and it wasn’t. I apologize for that.”
After Buzzfeed News published its report on the Zoom meeting, Glassman announced he would step down as CEO.
“I am stepping down as CEO of CrossFit, Inc. and I have decided to resign,” he said in a statement. statement. “On Saturday, I created a rift in the CrossFit community and inadvertently injured many of its members.”
He added: “I cannot allow my behavior to interfere with the missions of headquarters or affiliates. They are too important to endanger.”