CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman announced on Tuesday that he will resign and retire from his position with the organization, just days removed from his controversial tweets that linked George Floyd's death with the coronavirus pandemic.
"On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members," Glassman said in a statement. "Since I founded CrossFit 20 years ago, it has become the world's largest network of gyms. All are aligned in offering an elegant solution to the vexing problem of chronic disease. Creating CrossFit and supporting its affiliates and legions of professional trainers has been a labor of love."
"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."
On Saturday, in response to a tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that said racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response, Glassman responded, "It's Floyd-19."
"Your failed model quarantined us and now you're going to model a solution to racism?" he said in a later tweet. "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!"
Hours before the tweet, he told gym owners on a private Zoom call, "We're not mourning for George Floyd—I don't think me or any of my staff are," according to a recording of the meeting obtained by BuzzFeed News.
"Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it's the white thing to do—other than that, give me another reason," he reportedly asked a Minneapolis gym owner who had asked why the brand hadn’t posted a statement regarding the death of Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died on May 25 after being violently apprehended by Minneapolis police.
On Sunday, Glassman apologized for his tweets writing, in part, that, "I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism," but by Monday, Reebok had severed its partnership with CrossFit HQ. Many other CrossFit affiliates also said they would end their relationship with the national program, per CBS News.
Dave Castro, the current director of the CrossFit Games, will replace Glassman as CEO, per a statement on the CrossFit website