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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."
— Gym owner C.J. Martin, via USA Today

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.