Reebok and athletes are breaking with CrossFit over its founder's recent tweet about George Floyd.
Proving context matters, much of the media is reporting only a portion of the story and not Greg Glassman's rationale behind the tweet that got him and his company into trouble.
What are the details?
According to a Monday Forbes report, Glassman stirred controversy with a Sunday tweet about the late Floyd and the ensuing protests and demonstrations following his police-involved death.
In response to a tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that read, "Racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response," Glassman wrote, "It's FLOYD-19."
@IHME_UW It's FLOYD-19.— Greg Glassman (@Greg Glassman)1591484645.0
After almost immediate backlash, Glassman apologized and
insisted that his tweet wasn't meant to be taken as racist.
"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."
He continued, "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," he explained.
"It's our hope that his murder catalyzes real change resulting in a level playing field for our black brothers and sisters," the statement concluded. "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."
.@CrossFitCEO: "I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words… https://t.co/6kL6zBAD3I— CrossFit (@CrossFit)1591579482.0
and when I saw they were announcing modeling a solution to our racial crisis, I was incredulous, angry, and overly… https://t.co/QNVDlbeeU5— CrossFit (@CrossFit)1591579483.0
In a statement, Reebok said, "Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ."
What has been the response?
In addition to Reebok severing its ties with the fitness company, one of its professional athletes — Rich Froning — said that Glassman's remarks made it "impossible to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed."
Froning wasn't the only one.
Athletes Tia-Clair Toomey and Noah Ohlsen — who have both competed in the CrossFit Games — expressed their disappointment in the founder's social media message. Toomey revealed that Froning's message encouraged her to reconsider her future with the company. Ohlson outright refused to compete in this year's games.
The outlet also reported that CrossFit games supplier Rogue Fitness plans to remove the CrossFit logo from this year's event.
On Monday, the Daily Mail also reported that "hundreds" of CrossFit-affiliated athletes also severed ties with Glassman and the company.