CrossFit CEO Steps Down After Backlash Over Statements About George Floyd

June 10, 2020 Updated: June 10, 2020

CrossFit’s CEO resigned Tuesday after backlash concerning statements he made about George Floyd, the unarmed black man who died in policy custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Greg Glassman said in a statement that he decided to retire.

“I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members,” he said.

Glassman founded CrossFit, described as a lifestyle that includes exercise and nutrition, two decades ago.

“Those who know me know that my sole issue is the chronic disease epidemic. I know that CrossFit is the solution to this epidemic and that CrossFit HQ and its staff serve as the stewards of CrossFit affiliates worldwide. I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions. They are too important to jeopardize,” he said.

Glassman on Twitter weighed in after the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) called racism and discrimination “critical public health issues that demand an urgent response.”

The institute, which is funded by billionaire couple Bill and Melinda Gates, was behind modeling that contributed to policymakers across the United States imposing harsh measures to try to slow the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes a disease called COVID-19.

Epoch Times Photo
A Crossfit coach leans off weight training equipment in a CrossFit in San Francisco, Calif. in an April 24, 2020, file photograph. (Jeff Chiu/AP Photo)

Glassman said in response to IHME: “It’s FLOYD-19.”

In another post, he said: “Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is ‘accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots.’ Thanks!”

Glassman’s missives led to Reebok and other companies to cut ties with CrossFit.

Before resigning, Glassman on Sunday issued a statement saying he made a mistake with the words he chose.

“My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake,” he said. In a separate statement, the company called his statements “incredibly insensitive and hurtful.”

Glassman is being replaced by Dave Castro, who directed CrossFit Games.

“I’m honored to take on the role of CEO of CrossFit, Inc.,” Castro said in a statement. “I hope to do right by affiliates, trainers, athletes, and other members of the CrossFit community around the world and never lose sight of the mission Greg established for us all.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber