Greg Glassman Responds to Tweet Controversy: “I Made a Mistake By the Words I Chose Yesterday”

CrossFit's founder has released a statement.

On Saturday, June 6th, CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman wrote a two-word tweet that would eventually ignite controversy in almost all corners of the CrossFit community.

“It’s FLOYD-19.”

The tweet was in response to an Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tweet that read “Racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response. #BlackLivesMatter”

Glassman would go on to add an additional comment on the thread: “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!”

Hundreds of CrossFit athletes expressed frustration at the comment many found inappropriate. Dozens of CrossFit affiliate gyms began announcing their intent to break formal ties with CrossFit HQ. Reebok announced they would not be seeking to renew their partnership with the company, and equipment partner Rogue Fitness called Glassman’s comments “unacceptable under all conditions.” Some in the community urged caution at jumping to conclusions over Glassman’s remarks, though the majority of conversation was critical of the company’s founder.

On Sunday evening, a little over 24 hours after Glassman’s initial tweet, the official CrossFit Twitter account released a series of statements from Glassman, which we’ve quoted below. In it, Glassman refers to his previous comments as “…a mistake, not racist but a mistake.”

@CrossFitCEO: “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but 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, and when I saw they were announcing modeling a solution to our racial crisis, I was incredulous, angry, and overly emotional. Involving George Floyd’s name in that effort was wrong. It’s our hope that his murder catalyzes real change resulting in a level playing field for our black brothers and sisters. Please hear me when I say, we stand by our community to fight for justice. I care about you, our community, and I am here for you.”

As of the evening of Sunday, June 7th, this is the only official statement from Glassman or CrossFit HQ regarding the original tweet and ensuing controversy. 

Featured image: @CrossFit on Twitter

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend’s Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting. David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of Greatist.com.

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