Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Yesterday we ran a story about Unbroken Designs CEO Jennifer Rando and the backlash she and her company received from an Instagram post last week; things got uglier and we have an update below. And, CrossFit HQ announced drug policy violations decisions for Lefteris Theofinidis and Alanna Fisk Colon. Today:
The backlash against UD CEO moves beyond fitness community and turns ugly.
CrossFit HQ announces drug policy violation decisions.
OpEd: One Box Owner’s Opinion, “My CrossFit Gym is Not an Essential Business.”
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Do you have story tips, PRs, out-of-the-box workouts? Hit us up at [email protected].
“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.”– Abraham Lincoln
Backlash Turns Scary for Unbroken Designs CEO, Death Threats, Doxxing and More
The public reaction following Unbroken Designs CEO Jennifer Rando’s racial slur-filled Instagram post that began with the fitness community expressing disappointment, anger and outrage, turned toxic towards the end of the weekend. Rando and her family are receiving death threats and harassment on social media according to the CEO.
One big thing: The death threats and harassment appear to be coming from outside of the CrossFit community that Unbroken Designs primarily serves, but the threat is being taken seriously.
Members of these communities began sending direct messages threatening Rando’s life, the lives of her children, calling she, and her husband’s employers (both are employed separately from Unbroken Designs, Jennifer is a music therapist at a school for children with autism) and published her home address online.
One message said, “we [got] $1000 on yo head…stupid racist bitch…watch yo ass dies in a month or so.” Another wrote, “Hope your kids get covid and die.” A third said, “Puta ima make sure you suffer…you better start to hide.” A message to Rando’s husband said, “Your kid might wake up with his head cut off cause of your wife.”
Rando believessome of these threats to be credible and filed a police report with local law enforcement after someone sent a message including her home address.
The big picture: “She was wrong, but I just don’t believe she deserves this,” said Syn Martinez, former owner of CrossFit Harlem and owner of the apparel company Afrobrutality, who has been outspoken about racial issues on social media in the past.
In a press release on May 17, CrossFit HQ announced they had made decisions in the Drug Testing Policy cases of athletes Lefteris Theofanidis and Alanna Fisk Colón. Lefteris was found in breach of the policy and received a four-year ban from all CrossFit sanctioned competitions and activities. Fisk Colón was granted an extension to her appeal of her drug test findings.
The bottom line: Both athletes tested positive for banned substances during Sanctional competition. Lefteris was tested at the 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship and Fisk Colón’s positive test came during the 2020 Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival.
Lefteris tested positive for 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of nandrolone. 19-norandrosterone is classified as an anabolic agent. He also tested positive for meldonium, a hormone and metabolic modulator.
OpEd: One Box Owner’s Opinion, “My CrossFit Gym is Not an Essential Business”
By Todd Nief
I own a CrossFit gym in downtown Chicago.
We’ve been closed since the middle of March, shutting down in accordance with Illinois’s ruling that bars and restaurants close for in person dining.
Plans to reopen businesses are rolling out across the country with guidelines varying based upon the severity of the impact of the disease on a state as well as the political affiliation of each governor. CrossFit affiliate owners have been lobbied to have their gymsrecategorized as essential businesses — hoping to move up in their local reopening timeline.
While I’d love to get back in the gym and start offering our members the community, the coaching, and the workouts that so many of them are missing, we are not an essential service.
Affiliate owners have argued that they will be able to maintain social distancing guidelines and that there is a huge need for services focusing on physical health. They’ve also cited the seeming hypocrisy of businesses like liquor stores being deemed “essential” while fitness businesses remain closed. (Don’t forget that alcohol withdrawal is a potentially life-threatening condition that sends a lot of folks to the emergency room.)
My own business is reeling with a 41% revenue drop in April. Based upon current guidelines in Chicago, I will be surprised if we are able to resume activity in the gym before the middle of June. Our staff have all taken a significant pay cut, we only paid part of our April rent, and I haven’t taken a paycheck since March.
At-Home Workout with Margaux Alverez and Melissa Koepke
Even as gyms begin to open in various locations, most athletes are still spending lots of time at home. Margaux Alverez wants to help you stay fit no matter what and has been posting at-home workouts every week. Check this one out featuring her friend Melissa Koepke.
Adrian Bozman Discuss Experimentation and Defining Success
On this episode of Open Gym, host Patrick Cummings talks with Adrian Bozman, a long-time flow master for CrossFit’s L1 seminars and is currently serving as the manager of online courses for the company. His advice to gym owners today: embrace experimentation and define success for yourself.
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