When called, a gym owner in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where Floyd was killed and protests began against his death, said that his community and members of his gym mourned the death of Floyd. She asked why the company had made no statement about the death of Floyd, according to a tape recording of the call obtained by CNN Business. There were a dozen CrossFit affiliate owners and several business executives on the call, which lasted nearly two hours.
“We don’t cry George Floyd. I don’t think we or any of my staff, “said Glassman. “Can you tell me why I should cry for him?” ”
Glassman said he thought Floyd’s death “had nothing to do with race” and that he believed Floyd’s death was part of a conspiracy to cover the money laundering. No evidence of such a conspiracy has been reported.
Asked during the call about CrossFit’s response to the protests, Glassman said, “I love reconstruction, I love help. I would like to make an anonymous donation to the reconstruction. But I don’t want it to go away or support anything that looks like riots. ”
The gym owners told CNN they had been pressuring CrossFit for several days to make a statement expressing support for the protesters or the Black Lives Matter movement, as many other companies did after Floyd’s death.
Although no one on the call called him a racist, Glassman disputed that he was labeled as such in a separate conversation.
“I was called a racist yesterday for the first time in my life,” said Glassman on the call. “The first time someone even hinted at this. And it didn’t hurt me, it pissed me off. I had the same reaction as if someone painted ‘pedophile’ on my front door. ”
He also said that he believed CrossFit, as a fitness method, helps all kinds of people.
“I want to build CrossFit gymnasiums that work for free in distressed neighborhoods. We’ve been playing with this for a long time, “said Glassman. “Now, I even hate talking about it, and before that, that was all I was talking about … But now I have to say something special or I’m a [expletive] racist. And now this gymnasium will look like me, as it is [expletive] repairs or something. “Resignation
Last week, gyms began to drop their CrossFit affiliations on what some gym owners saw as a failure on the part of society to adequately express support for the black community.
Then Saturday night, after the call, Glassman posted several tweets in which he criticized the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s statement that racism is a public health problem. “Floyd-19,” Glassman tweeted in response to the Institute’s tweet. In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the health research institute’s coronavirus model “had failed”, and criticized him for modeling a “solution to racism”.
The tweets prompted hundreds of gyms to leave the company and the brand partners ended their relationship with CrossFit. Glassman, who founded CrossFit two decades ago, stepped down as CEO on Tuesday.
Glassman apologized for his tweetscalling them “non-racist but a mistake” and saying “the CrossFit community will not stand up for racism”. On Tuesday, in a statement announcing his resignation, he admitted to having “created a gap in the CrossFit community and unintentionally injured many of its members”.
CrossFit also said on Facebook on Friday that the company had conversations about “injustice, racism and all forms of hate” and that it wanted to better support its black members.
CrossFit and Glassman did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
Gym owners said the call was organized as an opportunity to discuss the coronavirus and how gym owners were responding as states began to reopen. Gyms pay CrossFit an annual membership fee to use the company brand, which can help attract customers.
During the call, Glassman expressed frustration with the coronavirus stay-at-home orders. He also cited a debunked theory that the coronavirus came from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, using an explanatory word to call it one of the greatest medical debacles “of my life”.
“The first would be for the Chinese to let the virus out of the laboratory,” Glassman said during the call. “And it did happen. ”
President Donald Trump has promoted this theory, although the administration and health officials have opposed it, claiming that the virus was not of human origin.