Around the time they published a statement on Greg Glassman’s retirement as CEO, CrossFit.com also published a letter titled, “Why Didn’t CrossFit Just Say Something?”
In the lengthy direct address to the CrossFit community, CrossFit’s staff addresses a number of topics and questions stemming from — but not just confined to — founder Greg Glassman’s tweets from the previous weekend. Since Glassman’s Twitter comments, other information has come to light to feed what’s been a largely critical response. These include an email reply from Glassman to the leadership of Rocket CrossFit, along with audio of an earlier Zoom call in which Glassman can be heard saying, “We’re not mourning for George Floyd.”
The statement, which we highly recommend reading in full, addresses Greg Glassman’s Twitter remarks and potential legacy while also discussing the brand’s relative silence on issues pertaining to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. The post — which has a byline that simply reads “CrossFit” — also acknowledges the nearly unprecedented nature of the candid address.
“CrossFit is a collection of many voices. Though we have never spoken to you with this degree of candor outside the realm of fitness and health, we are taking the step to do that now.”… “It is rare for us to speak on these types of issues. We struggled the past few weeks because we allowed our desire to get it right to paralyze us.”
The letter — which ends with a subhead titled “This Message Is Late, Long, and Imperfect” — also comments on what nearly everyone in the CrossFit community is wondering: What will become of CrossFit and the CrossFit community?
“How do you speak effectively, accurately, and authentically to a community you love so much when what’s at stake is the possibility of irreparable division?
We still do not know.
But this team will continue to pour its heart out in service of the community. We are flawed, we make mistakes, but we are pure in our intentions, and we will continue to engage in rigorous self-examination and self-betterment, because we owe you that much and so much more.”
In the wake of Glassman’s weekend remarks, sponsors including Reebok have announced their intent to either cut ties or not renew partnerships with CrossFit HQ. Over 1,000 CrossFit affiliate gyms have expressed their intent to not renew the brand’s licensing agreement. And a growing number of elite CrossFit athletes have said they will not be participating in official CrossFit competition until major changes are made at CrossFit HQ.
It remains to be seen if Glassman’s retirement, Castro’s ascension, and CrossFit’s statement will amount to enough. There has been no official word on whether ownership of CrossFit, Inc. will shift; according to reports, Greg Glassman currently owns the privately held company outright.
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Six months ago my friend Vickie said, “We should go to CrossFit.” We both laughed because, after all, we were both over 50 and not in the best of shape (at least I wasn’t). I had tried exercising here and there over the years, but didn’t have the self-discipline to do it regularly. My job — which involves sitting on my butt all day staring at my computer — led to some really unhealthy habits. Add to that a bunch of stressors in my life — a death in the family, becoming empty nesters, our grandson being born with a rare genetic condition, a kitchen reno, a cancer scare, a major job change — and I was an out-of-shape mess. I put on 50 lbs. in a year and everything hurt. The disc degeneration in my back was getting worse and despite several rounds of physical therapy, at times I couldn’t get up from the floor unassisted. I clutched the railing every time I went up and down steps, fearful I’d fall. Worse, my blood pressure and cholesterol had ventured into unhealthy territory and my under-active thyroid forced me to go on medication. – Not exactly what you think of when you picture a CrossFitter in your mind, right? Same here. – If you had told me seven months ago that I would be going to CrossFit twice a week and actually enjoying it, I would have laughed in your face. Everyone who knows me would have laughed in your face. And if you had told me that my introverted self would enjoy being part of a fitness “community,” I would have thought the idea absurd. Yet here we are. The encouragement I get from my fellow CrossFitters is part of what keeps me going back—even more so now that we’re all forced to work out at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole experience has been radically life-changing. I feel ten years younger and I don’t fear the effects of aging as much as I used to, knowing I’m building muscle and endurance and learning healthy habits. • Read “How I Went from Sedentary to CrossFit in One Day” by @pjbolyard through the link in our bio.
Featured image: @CrossFit on Instagram