“I can no longer be a part of that”: CrossFit Games Athletes Abandon Brand Under CEO Greg Glassman
As a surge of global CrossFit affiliates, businesses and sponsors distance themselves from the brand, the sport’s elite athletes have also condemned the comments of CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman.
- CrossFit has since taken to its official Twitter account to apologize for the “pain it has caused,” but that has not stemmed the massive wave of condemnation from the sport’s most recognized and respected athletes.
From the top of the podium: Reigning champions — many who own affiliates worldwide — have spoken loudly:
- Four-time Fittest Man On Earth Rich Froning said: “We cannot and will not stand by the comments made by Greg Glassman this weekend.”
Froning added he’d be going against his own morals to stand by CrossFit in this debate: “I can no longer be a part of that” he said in the video posted to his Instagram.
- Four-time Fittest Man On Earth and reigning champion Mat Fraser wrote: “Change comes from action” echoing the sentiments of both his sponsor Rogue Fitness, and 2008 CrossFit Games champion Jason Khalipa, who’s announced he’ll disaffiliate his NCFIT gyms.
- Reigning Fittest Woman On Earth Tia Clair Toomey told her 1.3 million Instagram followers: “It has made both Shane and I incredibly ashamed to be a part of an organization that we have dedicated so much of ourselves to.”
“My future with Crossfit is unclear and depends on the direction of HQ,” she said.
- Two-time CrossFit Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir became the first major athlete to condemn the original remarks, while 2014 champion Camille Leblanc-Bazinet said the comments are “not something I’d be ok with being associated with.”
- Former female champions in Samatha Briggs (2013) and Annie Thorisdottir (2011, 2012) have also sought to distance themselves from Glassman’s comments, yet reminding Crossfitters: “Our community is more than one man,” as Briggs posted on Instagram. Her words were echoed by Annie: “CrossFit is the community NOT just a brand. CrossFit is much more than ONE individual.”
The story is evolving: As is the “I’m out” movement of notable athletes who’ve announced they’ll decline their invites to the 2020 CrossFit Games in Aromas, pending major changes being made to CrossFit’s leadership.
- Yesterday, Noah Oslen and Chandler Smith were joined by CrossFit Games veteran Kristi Eramo-O’Connell, who was set to make her comeback to individual competition. All three have disclosed they will not be competing this year, “until changes to CrossFit are made.”
- This morning, athletes Brooke Haas and Travis Mayer joined the list as well.
Some voices can’t be ignored: Especially those who have been loyal to CrossFit from the very beginning.
- Julie Foucher has resigned from her role with CrossFit Level 1 Seminar staff, as has fellow former athlete Matt Chan, citing Glassman’s “…comments represent nothing that I personally, or anyone who I have ever worked with or met in the CrossFit community, represents.”
- One of the original “Girls,” Annie Sakamato said: “I started CrossFit in 2004 and dedicated my life to it…I will not stay committed to an organization or a man who does not represent my views or feelings.”
- Big news out of CrossFit Park City, where owner Chris Spealler has disaffiliated and expressed to the community: “We are better than the words of Glassman and know that. We are a STRONG group that still has such great potential. I’m here to support all of you how I can.”
The growing list: The Morning Chalk Up is seeking to provide the most up to date information compiling a list of athletes, who’ve criticized Glassman’s comments. Most have indicated they won’t stand by CrossFit, unless action is taken.
- Chase Ingraham, Maddy Myers, Lindy Barber, Brooke Wells, Amanda Barnhart, Christian Lucero, James Townsend, Dan Bailey, Margaux Alvarez, Brandon Swan, Cody Mooney, Dani Speegle, Alex Parker, Kari Pearce, Gary Helmick, Kristen Pedri, Emily Bridgers, Jess Coughlan, Brent Fikowski, Carolyne Prevost, Tim Paulson, Carol-Ann Reason-Thibault, Colin Cartee, Neal Maddox, Danielle Horan-Jenny, Alea Helmick, Meg Reardon, Laura Horvath, Alec Smith, David Shorunke, Will Moorad, Michele Letendre, Joshua al Chama, Zack George, Matt Chan, Mia Edgar, Krista Pell, Khan Porter, Annie Sakamoto, Ron Ortiz, James Hobart, Santi Comba, Cedric Lapointe, Colleen Fotsch, Paul Tremblay, Haley Adams, Cheryl Nasso, Lindsey Valenzuela, Matt Mortan, Michelle Kinney, Kelly Starrett, Feeroozeh Saghafi, Spencer Hendel, Joe Scali, Steph Chung, Craig Kenney, Lauren Gibbs, Carly Fuhrer, Lauren Fischer, Tori Dyson. Becca Voigt Miller, Brooke Ence, Jessica Core, Danielle Brandon, Miranda Alcaraz, Dave Lipson, Meredith Root, Taylar Stallings, Adam Davidson, Justin Ahrens, Ben Stoneberg, Guido Trinidad, Ryan Fischer, Alexis Johnson, Julie Foucher-Urcuyo, Guilherme Malheiros, Bailey Rogers, Wayne Willette, Jamie Hagiya, Jake Douglas, Alethea Boon, Bethany Shadburne, Holden Rethwill, Jon North, Pat Barber, Kristóf Horváth, Andrea Solberg, Jacqueline Dahlstrøm, Cole Sager, Chad Mackay, Brooke Haas, Travis Mayer, Kristin Holte, Rob Rofte, Anna Fragkou, Ant Haynes, Tanner Shuck, and Carmen Bosmans.
One big thing: This debacle has transcended generations of athletes from the aforementioned “originals” to the likes of young up-and-comers like 2019 CrossFit Games Rookie of the Year Haley Adams.
Athletes are united in their sentiments to see the community transcend this debate and those who usually compete against one another are standing as to one to push the institution and brand for change.