Ex CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman Told Affiliates: ‘We’re Not Mourning For George Floyd’
The CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, resigned on Tuesday, days after a Zoom call with affiliate gym owners, where he criticized the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement, and shared conspiracy theories about George Floyd’s death.
“We’re not mourning for George Floyd. I don’t think we or any of my staff are,” Glassman said on the call, which had been obtained by various news outlets earlier this week. “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him?”
The call was reportedly supposed to be a routine discussion between the CEO and several gym owners about the coronavirus pandemic. But, when a Minneapolis gym owner questioned why CrossFit had not come out with a statement about Floyd or the protesters, Glassman’s controversial opinions started to come out.
“I doubt very much that they’re mourning for Floyd. I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community,” Glassman said of protesters. He said that “killing George was wrong,” before mentioning that “burning the town down was wrong, killing the black cop was wrong, and the black-on-black murder every weekend in every one of our cities is a tragedy.”
He mentioned that he had been planning to open free CrossFit gyms in poorer communities, but now he wasn’t sure he should do that, fearing that he’d look like he’s giving “reparations or something.”
“I want to build CrossFit gyms that run free of charge in blighted neighborhoods. We’ve been playing with that for a long time,” Glassman said. “Now I hate even talking about it, and prior to this, it was all I talked about … But now I’ve got to say something special or I’m a f***ing racist. And now this gym is going to look like I’m, like it’s f***ing reparations or something.”
He told the Minneapolis gym owner that defunding the police is “terrifying,” and defended officers.
“It sounds like punishing the cops. It sounds like blaming the police for all of the problems in blighted communities, and I don’t think anything could be farther from the truth,” Glassman said. Have you ever done a ride-along with cops in a rough neighborhood? You don’t have to answer, but I have many, many times, and that is crazy tough work and almost all of the men and women are professionals.“
He later began to share a baseless conspiracy theory about the nightclub where Floyd and the cop who allegedly killed him worked. The conspiracy theory says that former officer Derek Chauvin, who was a security guard at the club, killed Floyd on purpose because he was caught with counterfeit money, and they had been working for the club that had been laundering money. There is no proof of any parts of this claim.
“Watch, this thing’s going to turn into first-degree murder, that’s what it’s going to turn into. And it’s going to be because I’m predicting this,” said Glassman. “We have friends in the FBI in your neighborhood, and they’re of the view that this was first-degree murder and it was to silence him over the counterfeit money. That’s the belief. That’s what the cops think,” he told the gym owner from Minneapolis.
He also spoke about the coronavirus conspiracy theory that China created the coronavirus in a lab, which has been debunked by researchers.
This Zoom call occurred just hours before Glassman posted controversial tweets in response to a health institutes statement on racism as a public health issue.
Glassman responded “It’s FLOYD-19,” to The Institute For Health Metrics and Evaluation’s tweet. He went on to write that the institute failed at modeling the coronavirus, and criticized their model as a “solution to racism.”
— Greg Glassman (@CrossFitCEO) June 6, 2020
Glassman’s tweets caused hundreds of affiliate gyms to cut ties with CrossFit and caused Reebok to end their partnership with the company. Glassman came out with an apology following this, saying that his comments were a mistake, but “not racist.”
Floyd is a hero in the black community and not just a victim. I should have been sensitive to that and wasn’t. I apologize for that. I was trying to stick it to the @IHME_UW for their invalidated models resulting in needless, economy-wrecking, life-wrecking lockdown,
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 8, 2020
Glassman finally stepped down on Tuesday after news outlets began publishing clips from the leaked audio. Dave Castro is the new CEO of CrossFit.
Greg Glassman retires. Dave Castro to assume role as CEO of CrossFit, Inc. https://t.co/QOj6XTYuFt
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 9, 2020