On Wednesday afternoon CrossFit HQ released a statement announcing that affiliate owner and entrepreneur Eric Roza had agreed to buy CrossFit and become CEO of the company. The announcement came after several weeks of unfavorable coverage, questionable decisions and practices by CrossFit founder and owner Greg Glassman.
During that tumultuous time, many of the top athletes in CrossFit voiced their displeasure in the actions and disassociated themselves from the brand, demanding a change in leadership and change within the company. After the announcement, the Morning Chalk Up reached out to some of those athletes to get their take on the sale, the community and the future of CrossFit.
Cole Sager (six-time Games athlete, 2017 “Spirit of the Games” recipient). Sager announced in an Instagram post that he would not compete at the 2020 Games nor support CrossFit until there were changes in leadership and culture within the company.
- “I am excited to see this change. I believe it has given a new, fresh spark of hope to the CrossFit community. Eric Roza sounds like a good guy, with good intentions and I am eager to see how that manifests itself throughout the community.”
- For many of us athletes, this was the change we wanted to see to feel proud to represent the sport again. I hope this change of ownership unites the community at large even more than we already are.”
Alec Smith (three-time Games athlete, runner-up at the 2019 Games with CrossFit Krypton)
- “It’s great to see a positive change in the community and in the sport. A change that we needed. The community deserved a better leader and I’m excited to see what Eric is going to bring to CrossFit.”
- “It would be great to see a diverse board of leaders who work directly with Eric instead of sole ownership. Hopefully, this is something in the works or something we can work towards!
- “The community is the strongest part of CrossFit and we deserve equality and respect from the top. Welcome Eric!”
Alexis Johnson (three-time Games athlete)
- “This is extremely exciting news for the Crossfit community! Just take a look at Eric’s affiliate’s (Crossfit Sanitas) Instagram, and you will see why I am looking forward to what he will do for the organization.”
- “Crossfit Sanitas looks like the member-centered gym that every affiliate strives to be. And from what I can tell, Eric is a man of action — not only did Crossfit Sanita recently hold a fundraiser to raise money for nonprofits that support people of color, but the gym matched donations.
- “With this kind of leadership, I am hopeful that we will see big changes in Crossfit.”
Margaux Alvarez (seven-time Games athlete, former CrossFit HQ Training seminar staff)
- “Wishing the community the best. I fell in love with the camaraderie and the huge support for each other.”
- “I wish our new CEO the best as well, while he has a huge job in front of him, I’m sure he will work diligently to mend our community and make us stronger than ever.”
Chandler Smith (2019 Games athlete). Smith was one of the first 2020 Games qualifiers to decline their invitations due to CrossFit’s leadership. When asked for a statement he referred us to this June 7 post and said it still applied.
- “It is my hope that others join me in applying pressure to HQ in order to improve the organization we love and make it better going forward. While it remains to be seen if this action is in the best interests of the collective Community or myself as an individual competition, I have a renewed optimism for the future of CrossFit and I’m excited to help work to advance the community going forward.”
Lukas Hogberg (five-time Games athlete, Third “Fittest Man on Earth” at the 2018 Games). Hogberg expressed his views and optimism on his Instagram page.
- “It’s a fresh start and I think we all should welcome him with open arms! I have not been this excited for the coming CrossFit session since 2018!”
- “I love to compete in CrossFit! Especially at the CrossFit Games, the workouts are so much fun! And I hope to see the workouts more like 2018 and back!”
Alexys D’Tiole (three-time Regional team athlete, 56th in the 2020 Worldwide Open).
- “It is good to see Crossfit moving in a direction that focuses on the greater good for the community. We knew that if Crossfit stayed in the hands of Glassman as CEO that nothing would change and that it would be the demise of the brand. With it changing hands, we know that there is an opportunity for a fresh start or a new revamp.”
- “Personally, there needs to be a clear plan of what the new CEO expects to change in the 30/60/90 day horizon and then 1 year/2 year time horizon. He should bring in a board of directors and advisors who can help guide him as well as a diversity and inclusion director to ensure that there is sensitivity training and education from the top-down and bottom-up.”
- “Everything is happening so quickly, but also needs to be fully thought out and vetted. This impacts so many people and the entire CrossFit community, so ensuring that affiliates, athletes, members, media, brands, and all affected have their voices heard and feedback provided will be optimal to determine what the next steps for Crossfit should be.”
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