“Really there’s no story. It is what it is and it just sucks,” Froning Responds to Fraser

January 5, 2021 by
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The CrossFit Games community kicked 2021 off with a dash of athlete drama to start the new year following an appearance by Mat Fraser on The Darren Woodson Show, where the five-time CrossFit Games champion gave his account of the nature of the relationship between he and four-time individual Games champion and four-time team champion Rich Froning. 

Froning responds: After more than 48 hours of speculation, and varying responses across the community, Froning finally addressed the comments and the situation for the first time, providing his thoughts and perspective on the matter via a video originally intended for paid members of his programming track that has since found its way to the public

  • Froning admitted to having not watched or listened to the interview, but stated that the contents of the interview were relayed to him by others, and also admitted to some misunderstandings between him and Fraser.
  • “There’s always two sides to every story, there’s some bold lies and some inaccuracies definitely in the, I don’t know, interview? Podcast?”
  • It’s unfortunate. I thought, I wouldn’t say we were best friends but I thought we were good enough friends.”
  • “I actually reached out to him right before stage one and there’s always been kind of a weird air between us in the last couple years. When he first moved down here, is when I had some like knee stuff going on and I didn’t want to be around somebody that could do any and everything and I couldn’t do anything.”
  • “I guess I did in the beginning kind of shut him out and I don’t know if it snowballed from there, and it was almost like he was chasing ghosts. (There was a) Lot of just, I guess a lack of communication in the beginning. It just sucks like I said, to have what sounds like my character and stuff like that lied about, which is unfortunate.
  • “There’s a couple things in there, like I said, some of them are he said, she said, or his side of the story, my side of the story, really there’s no story, it is what it is and it just sucks.”

Froning also addressed some of the specific points made by Fraser that stood out as either misunderstandings or as points of tension between the two, including the status of training at the gym during lock down, using the gym for the Rogue Invitational and stage one of the CrossFit Games.

  • Three things that stuck out were that (first) we wouldn’t let them train at the gym during quarantine. It’s when they first locked the gym down. We didn’t know what the laws were, we didn’t know what the rules were, if we were going to get shut down if we had, you know, just our employees there, and looking back I wish I would have just said ‘you know what screw it and you guys can train’ but the last three years or two and half years he’s had a key to the gym so it’s really weird that it’s one of the hangups they had, or he had.”
  • “As far as them not being allowed to do Rogue or stage one at the gym that was all because we had a Level 1 and Level 2 (CrossFit seminars) there that weekend, that got rescheduled because of COVID and then they were scheduled six months out or however many months out…..and I offered the barn (Froning’s home gym).”
  • The fact that he says we haven’t talked in two and half years is a bold-faced lie as well because we have talked a couple of times. You know we’re not best buddies but I would have said we were friends before that, you know like I said we were never going to be best friends, we don’t have a ton in common, but it is what it is and like I said it’s unfortunate, it’s just crazy to me that it’s on a podcast, and all this stuff.”

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