As CrossFit affiliate gyms remove the brand name from their businesses to stand against CEO Greg Glassman’s tweet about George Floyd, many wonder how the brand will survive.
The first ripples of damage to CrossFit after its CEO Greg Glassman’s controversial tweets on the Black Lives Matter movement were swift and immediate. Sportswear giant Reebok ended a longtime sponsorship with the fitness brand. Professional athletes like Rich Froning, Tia-Clair Toomey, and Noah Ohlsen, who compete in the annual CrossFit games, also cut ties with the fitness program.
But that was only the beginning. CrossFit-affiliated gyms across the country, where owners pay yearly funds to use the regime’s branding, began divesting from the corporate structure this weekend. These trainers say that their fitness centers will continue operating as stand-alone businesses untethered from the CrossFit name.
“A name is just a name,” Alan Shaw, who runs Rhapsody Gym in Charleston, South Carolina, with his husband Trinity Wheeler, told The Daily Beast the morning after they decided to disaffiliate. “I have a feeling that something greater is going to rise out of this. Actionable steps need to be taken, not just words. That’s what needs to happen not just in CrossFit but also the world at large.”
Todd Morris, the owner of Black Box NYC, declined to speak with The Daily Beast. But on Monday, the gym—which was founded in 2005 and is one of the first CrossFit affiliates—released a statement also condemning Glassman’s words and disaffiliating with his program.