Jason Khalipa, the 2008 CrossFit Games champion and founder of the NCFIT Collective, announced that he was cutting ties with HQ following former CEO Greg Glassman's controversial comments about George Floyd and racism. Days later, he unveiled a plan to help out other gyms no longer wanting to bear the CrossFit name. Khalipa revealed a licensing option for the NCFIT name.
According to a press release from NCFIT, Khalipa and his company had worked on plans to provide licensing options. However, the comments by Glassman pushed up their timeline. Khalipa set out to provide other options for gyms wanting to remain in the community while following the same style of workouts. An estimated 1,200 of the 15,000 affiliates threatened to leave following Glassman's comments, and NCFIT could provide a different option.
"At NCFIT we have been in the trenches for over a decade, learning, developing, and growing with our members," Khalipa said in the press release. "In light of recent events that have affected the CrossFit® community, we expedited our plans to license NCFIT. It's time to forge a new path forward." The licensing option is not available as of Saturday but is expected in a matter of days.
Those that sign up for the licensing option will have access to the NCFIT brand name and likeness. They will also have multiple program offerings designed by Khalipa and others with considerable experience. Others included perks are "World-class in gym and at-home fitness programming developed for long term health benefits, Detailed Session Plans for coaches to bring classes to life in a way that is fun, safe, and effective and daily coaching and athlete videos."
Glassman first sparked criticism when he responded to the University of Washington's Institue for Health Metrics and Evaluation's statement about racism being a critical public health issue. He tweeted "Floyd-19" in response and then criticized the IHME's approach to racism. Prior to those comments on Twitter, however, Glassman held a two-hour Zoom call with 10 affiliate owners and made controversial statements about George Floyd's death.
"We're not mourning for George Floyd. I don't think we or any of my staff are," Glassman said, according to a recording of the meeting. "Can you tell me why I should mourn for him?" Glassman also said that he believed Floyd's death was part of a conspiracy to cover up money laundering in the nightclub where he and now-fired officer Derek Chauvin worked.
"It's time for a change. We will no longer be a CrossFit affiliate. We are NCFIT," the company said in the immediate aftermath of the comments. ... "In light of recent events and on-going concerns about the direction of CrossFit, NCFIT will no longer maintain our affiliation with the brand. We have been an affiliate for more than 10-years, but we can no longer continue along this path. We owe it to our team, members, and the greater community to stand for something better than what we are witnessing."