Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The news has been fast and furious over the past few days, honestly, it’s felt like trying to drink water from a fire hose. And it’s been uncomfortable. We feel it here, and we know the community is feeling it too. After the newsletter today, the Morning Chalk Up will go silent for the rest of the day. We want to pause and reflect and breathe, and we encourage you to do the same. When we return tomorrow, we move forward. Together.
“There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.”– Josh Jameson
Glassman Resigns; Castro in as CEO
UPDATE 5:07 PM on 6/9: CrossFit released statement from Greg Glassman and Dave Castro announcing Glassman’s retirement and Castro succession as CEO. Updated below.
In a call with CrossFit Seminar staff, Dave Castro revealed that CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman would be stepping down and Castro would replace him as CEO. The announcement, which was leaked on Reddit, was confirmed by multiple participants who were on the call with Castro.
The move comes amid a tumultuous week for the brand as more than 1,000 affiliates have left CrossFit and major companies, athletes and events have distanced themselves from Glassman and CrossFit.
In Glassman’s place, Director of the CrossFit Games, and Co-Director of Training Dave Castro will be stepping in to become the new CEO of CrossFit Inc. in hopes of starting to unify the community and begin to repair the damage of the past week.
The move was announced initially to members of the CrossFit Seminar Staff during a Zoom call that took place Tuesday mid-morning.
One big thing: The details are unclear about the full scope of what Glassman’s involvement with regards to ownership and influence within the company is going forward. If the extent of the change is simply Glassman stepping aside while still maintaining sole ownership of the company, then as the sole owner or even majority owner if he gave up some stake, he would still stand to profit considerably from the company’s future development and legally retain full control of the company at his discretion. It’s unlikely that the move would equate to real change in the eyes of the community, and multiple sources have confirmed as much.
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Glassman In Zoom Call To Affiliates: “We’re Not Mourning For George Floyd”
Earlier this week, an article posted to the Medium website detailing the reasons for 10-year affiliate owner Michael Young’s disaffiliation from CrossFit revealed that the contents of a live Zoom call between Young, CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, Director of Media Sevan Matossian, and a collection of other affiliate owners proved to the final motivation for Young’s decision.
The article detailed some inflammatory comments from Glassman regarding the George Floyd case, and subsequent racial inequality issues that have been boiling over in the United States in the days since the video of his death at the hands of former Minneapolis police officers became public.
Young notably calls for the release of the full recording of the call by CrossFit HQ in order for the full scope of the conversation to become known to the public.
Multiple news outlets are now reporting additional details on the zoom call after obtaining the full audio of the conversation during which Glassman expands upon his feelings regarding the George Floyd killing, the subsequent public response, as well as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re not mourning for George Floyd, I don’t think me or any of my staff are,” Glassman responded when asked about the company’s silence, “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do.”
When questioned, Glassman later doubted the actuality of the public response to Floyd’s murder saying “I doubt very much that they’re more mourning for Floyd. I just don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd, in any community.”
Some of the affiliates making this choice are well-known, such as CrossFit Park City in Park City, UT, owned by eight-time CrossFit Games athlete Chris Spealler, and CrossFit Linchpin in Tacoma, WA, owned by Pat Sherwood, CrossFit media personality and long-time member of CrossFit HQ seminar staff. As well as Jason Khalipa’s NCFit and Ben Bergeron’s CrossFit New England.
Not all are on board the disaffiliation train, though: While the outrage among the affiliate community has been very loud, the decision to disaffiliate is far from a consensus.
On Sunday,Theo Tsekouras, the owner of H-Town CrossFit in Houston, Texas, posed the question — Who is planning on disaffiliating? — in the CrossFit Affiliate Owners’ Only Facebook group. Twelve hours later, by the time the post had reached 160 comments, this lack of consensus became apparent.
Through the ensuing conversation, just 10 affiliate owners in the thread proclaimed they planned to or had already disaffiliated, from CrossFit, while 18 were a hard no.
“For everyone (who) has announced they are (disaffiliating), have you thought of the other employees at HQ? Have you thought of what certifications you will get to keep your insurance? Have you thought of all the work people besides Greg Glassman have put into the brand? Maybe we should put our energy into getting Greg out, not throwing away everything so many people (including us affiliate owners) have worked so hard to build,” wrote Eric Fasciani, the owner ofCrossFit Nashua andCrossFit Souhegan, both in NH.
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