CrossFit founder Greg Glassman has issued an apology for a George Floyd tweet that caused major backlash and led to Reebok cutting ties with the company. Over the weekend, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation tweeted that "racism is a public health issue." In response, Glassman replied, "It’s Floyd-19."
This was in reference to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic plaguing the world, as well as George Floyd, a black man who was killed after a now-former Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. In is apology, Glassman — who is also the CEO of the company — wrote, "I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism." He then admitted that he "made a mistake by the words" he chose to use. Glass stated that his "heart is deeply saddened" at causing pain with his word, and that while he did not intend it as a "racist" remark, "it was a mistake."
Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that and wasn't. I apologize for that. I was trying to stick it to the @IHME_UW for their invalidated models resulting in needless, economy-wrecking, life-wrecking lockdown,— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 8, 2020
Glassman explained that he found the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation "racial crisis" modeling solution to be without merit. This led him to become "incredulous, angry, and overly emotional." He confessed that "involving" Floyd's name in he response "was wrong." Glassman also wrote that he and the rest of CrossFit leadership hope that Floyd's "murder catalyzes real change resulting in a level playing field for our black brothers and sisters." Finally, Glassman pleaded with people to hear him when he says that CrossFit stands "by our community to fight for justice." He concluded. "I care about you, our community, and I am here for you."
Ahead of Glassman's apology, Reebok issued a statement to the AP on their decision to sever ties with CrossFit, stating that the partnership was actually already due to come "to an end later this year." The two companies had "been in discussions regarding a new agreement," however, following Glassman's tweet, Reebok has "made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ." The show and sports apparel company added that it will still "fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020." CrossFit does not appear to have commented on Reebok's statement.