It only takes one insensitive tweet nowadays to bring down the reputation of an entire company. This weekend, CrossFit was the topic of this modern ‘cancel culture’ after its CEO Greg Glassman made insensitive comments on social media. In turn, it was detrimental to the fitness brand as major sponsors and athletes boycott the company. Today, adidas-owned, Reebok, announced it would cut ties with CrossFit after a 10-year partnership.
The tweet in question is a response to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation as it called racism a public health issue, where Glassman says, “It’s Floyd-19.”
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 6, 2020
To make matters worse, he followed up the response on Sunday morning with, “Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism?” he wrote in his second reply.
Glassman then apologised via the company’s Twitter saying he made a mistake. “My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake.” It seems however, the backlash caused is irreversible with Reebok swiftly ending its dealings with CrossFit as a main sponsor and licensee of CrossFit apparel.
“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,” the sports apparel brand told Business Insider. “We will fulfil our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community.”
Gyms such as CrossFit Magnus and Petworth Fitness also announced they would end affiliations with CrossFit. In addition, four-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning Jr said on Instagram it was “impossible to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed.”