Jun 9, 2020 - Sports

CrossFit faces mass exodus after CEO's controversial George Floyd tweet

A woman lifts heavy weights while working out at a crossfit gym

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Multiple sponsors, affiliated gyms and athletes have abandoned CrossFit following a controversial tweet (and other comments) from company founder and CEO Greg Glassman about the death of George Floyd.

The backdrop: Founded in 2000, CrossFit has exploded in popularity as both a brand and a fitness regimen. Coaches become CrossFit-certified, gyms pay to be affiliated with the company and top-tier athletes compete annually in the CrossFit Games.

Driving the news:

  • Reebok said it will end its relationship with CrossFit when its contract is up at the end of this year, and another major sponsor, Rogue Fitness, is considering doing the same.
  • Multiple gyms across the country have removed "CrossFit" from their names, which also means they will stop paying the company affiliate fees.
  • Several top-tier athletes, including three-time defending CrossFit Games champion Tia-Clair Toomey, have spoken out and indicated that they might not participate in future competitions.

What's next: Many believe Glassman's remarks will lead to a split between the CrossFit brand and the fitness community that has long identified with its name.

"People are disassociating from the brand [but] they're not disassociating from the workout style. ... The sport is going to change. It's going to take on a different name. What that is, I don't think anybody knows yet."
ā€” Gym owner C.J. Martin, via USA Today
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