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Is CrossFit Dead?

 
Morning Chalk Up

June 8
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Red H Nutrition

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. As a pillar of this community, we have pledged to shed light on the most important stories in the sport and community of CrossFit. We love highlighting the immense positivity and inclusivity of this community, and we thrive on reporting about competition. But we have also pledged to cover the difficult stories and support all members of our community, no matter the cost or context. With that in mind, today:

  • Glassman to nine-year affiliate owner, “you are delusional.”
  • Reebok ends negotiations on future CrossFit Games sponsorships.
  • Chandler Smith, Noah Ohlsen and Kristi Eramo O’Connell will boycott the CrossFit Games unless changes occur.
  • 100+ gyms disaffiliate in response to Glassman’s actions.
  • CrossFit HQ asks for dialogue while simultaneously blocking critics on social media.

Send us your story tips, quotes and PRs at [email protected].

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” – Shirley Chisholm

 

BREAKING: Reebok Cancels Future Games Negotiations

  BREAKING: Reebok Cancels Future Games Negotiations  

Negotiations to extend Reebok’s contract as a sponsor of the CrossFit Games ended abruptly in response to CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s racial remarks. Reebok’s 10-year exclusive contact as title sponsor of the CrossFit Games and sole licensee of CrossFit apparel and shoes is set to expire sometime after this summer’s games.

Reebok:

  • “Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ.
  • “We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community.”
  • “What doesn’t change is our commitment and dedication to CrossFitters and the passionate CrossFit community. We’re so thankful for the strong bonds we’ve created with coaches, box owners and athletes around the world over the past 10 years.”

One big thing: The contract isn’t just to be the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games but also gives Reebok exclusive rights to produce CrossFit apparel. The end of that contract will also end Reebok’s production of exclusively CrossFit shoes and clothing.

Why it matters: Reebok’s exodus puts future CrossFit Games in jeopardy. On top of the multi-million dollar prize purse Reebok contributes each year, the royalty payments from licensing the CrossFit trademark amount to millions for CrossFit. On top of putting pressure on other brands and sponsors to distance themselves from the brand, this will make it harder to find a replacement sponsor for future Games.

 

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Glassman to Nine-Year Affiliate Owner “You are Delusional”

  Glassman to Nine-Year Affiliate Owner “You are Delusional”  

On June 3, Alyssa Royse, owner of Rocket Community Fitness, formerly “Rocket CrossFit,”  a nine-year affiliate, wrote a letter to Brian Mulvaney, chief advisor at CrossFit Inc. In the letter, Royse stated that “Rocket CrossFit will be changing our name to Rocket Community Fitness, and likely disaffiliating from CrossFit when it’s time to renew.”

CrossFit Founder and CEO, Greg Glassman’s response to the letter, which included a heavy dose of name-calling and gaslighting, has ignited a firestorm across the community.

One big thing: After the initial letter and response were added to the Rocket Community Fitness blog on June 5, the post was immediately and widely circulated around social media. In the past 48 hours, an avalanche of gyms have announced plans to disaffiliate, prominent Games athletes, led by Katrin Davidsdottir have denounced CrossFit HQ and leading fitness brands and Games sponsors, like Reebok, are seeking to distance themselves.

Some details: In her letter, Royse referenced the work she did with CrossFit HQ surrounding LGBTQ+ inclusivity but acknowledged more recent dissatisfaction with the brand.  

  • Royse wrote, in explaining the choice to disaffiliate: “The reasons boil down to an incoherent brand identity that is losing value, absent leadership at a time when leadership is most important, and a moral ambiguity that doesn’t jibe with the zeitgeist or our own values.”
  • “The George Floyd murder threw our country into massive unrest. CrossFit is the only major brand I can think of that has failed to take a stand, make a statement, show support for social justice in general and Black lives in specific,” she continued.
 

“I’m out”, Chandler Smith and Noah Ohlsen Decline Games Invite

  “I’m out”, Chandler Smith and Noah Ohlsen Decline Games Invite  

With the chances of the 2020 CrossFit Games actually occurring in limbo, it was dealt yet another blow as two of the sport’s biggest stars announced that they would decline their Games invitation in the wake of Greg Glassman’s recent remarks. In separate posts, both Chandler Smith and Noah Ohlsen posted on a black background, white text that simply stated “I’m out.”

  • Chandler Smith: “Until changes to CrossFit are made, I will not be participating in the 2020 Games.”
  • Noah Ohlsen echoed Smith’s statement adding: “This is probably the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It’s been weighing on me for days. I’ve consulted many of my closest supporters. All of that said, I’ve decided that I cannot, in good conscience, compete during this time for a company that hasn’t shown themselves to have values that I align with.”

The bottom line: During a whirlwind of activity on Sunday afternoon that saw hundreds of the sports most well-known athletes, personalities, sponsors, brands and affiliates speak out and condemn the actions of CrossFit’s founder. Smith and Ohlsen are the first to not only voice their displeasure but also announce immediate action in terms of their competitive future.

  • Smith in his post also commented: “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.”
  • When the Morning Chalk Up reached out to Smith for a quote he replied, “Actions speak louder than words.”

Update: After initial publication, Kristi Eramo O’Connell also stated on Instagram that her “participation in the 2020 CrossFit Games will be contingent on major changes being made in the leadership of CrossFit.”

  • “If I’m not comfortable associating the business we own with the current state and leadership of CrossFit, then I to myself will also not support or participate under the CrossFit events held by this leadership,” she concluded.
 

The Community Speaks Out, 100+ Gyms Disaffiliate Following CrossFit Founder’s Tweet

  The Community Speaks Out, 100+ Gyms Disaffiliate Following CrossFit Founder’s Tweet  

The CrossFit community continues to swirl following comments from the CrossFit founder and CEO, Greg Glassman on twitter. Responding to the Institute for Health Metrics and Education’s tweet of a statement from their director that “Racism Is A Public Health Issue,” Glassman responded with a tweet of his own stating, “It’s FLOYD-19.”

The fallout: The tweet, which appeared to mock the institute’s statement and recent action surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, comes on the heels of a scathing email sent from Glassman to Alyssa Royse of Rocket Community Fitness (formerly Rocket CrossFit). It immediately sparked outrage within the community and the response from affiliates has been swift. In less than 24 hours, over 100 affiliates have spoken out publicly to end their affiliation with CrossFit Inc. and voice their disapproval of Glassman’s words.

  • Brick CrossFit, New York, Los Angeles: “BRICK NEW YORK will not be associated with an organization that fails to stand for equality and speak up against racial injustice.”
  • Royal Docks CrossFit, London, England: “It has become clear that the values held dear by the Royal Docks community are not currently reflected by CrossFit HQ.”
  • CrossFit Park City, Park City, UT: “To those of you in the community. We are better than the words of Glassman and know that. We are a STRONG group that still has such great potential.”
  • N.C. Fit, Bay Area, CA: “We owe it to our team, members, and the greater community to stand for something better than what we are witnessing.”
  • CrossFit Linchpin, Tacoma WA: “Linchpin does NOT support the statements of CrossFit’s CEO Greg Glassman. Linchpin will be de-affiliating and will NOT continue to be a CrossFit affiliate.”
 

BLOCKED! HQ Censors Critics in Open Discussion Forum

  BLOCKED! HQ Censors Critics in Open Discussion Forum  

On Friday, June 5, CrossFit HQ made a statement in regards to the calls for equality and the end of police brutality on people of color by protesters and community members. They sent a message out across all their social media platforms offering an open discussion on the state of affairs. However, for some members of the community their voices were silenced as HQ blocked them from commenting on their social media accounts.

One big thing: The Facebook post on the CrossFit Games page didn’t directly address their stance on racism, police brutality or the Black Live Matters movement. Instead, it invited the community, specifically those of color, to discuss and offer suggestions on what CrossFit should do.

  • Despite the invitation, those in charge of moderating and running the CrossFit social media sites started blocking numerous user accounts, specifically those who questioned why it took them so long to respond and what stance they were taking.
  • One of those blocked users was three-time Games athlete Maddy Myers, who has been very vocal about social injustice and change.
  • When the Morning Chalk Up asked Myers her thoughts on being blocked and her having her comments deleted she said, “I’m fucking honored! Who wants to be associated with an organization who not only remains silent on the matter of racial equality, but also silences those who speak up?”
  • The page moderator did address some comments, either asking users to send them a message or saying they would reach out to them.
 

THINGS TO…

…HEAR

Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland on What the Hell is Going On

Last night the Talking Elite Fitness team went live on YouTube to digest all of the news and developments that have taken place over the weekend.

  Morning Chalk Up  

SPONSORED

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  Morning Chalk Up  

…EAT

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TRIVIA

Congratulations to Sergio H., who was the first to correctly answer which athlete (female or male) had the lowest worldwide point total to win the Open. The correct answer was Samantha Briggs. She won the 2013 Open with 16 total points. Sergio has now answered the Trivia question first four times.

  • Today’s question: Who has won the most Individual Games Events (woman or man)?

Submit your answer.

 

HIGHLIGHTS…

 
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