The CEO of CrossFit is stepping down after his tweet about George Floyd sparked a social media backlash and led to affiliated gyms and Reebok cutting ties with the exercise brand.
Greg Glassman said in a statement posted on CrossFit Inc.'s website late Tuesday that he decided to retire. Glassman had apologized earlier for tweets that sparked online outrage by connecting Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, and the coronavirus pandemic. He said he had made a mistake and should have been more sensitive, but denied being racist.
“On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members," he said. “I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions.”
“It's FLOYD-19," he replied on Saturday, and in a second tweet criticized the group's “failed” quarantine model and accused it of attempting to “model a solution to racism.”
Some 1,250 gyms have now severed links with CrossFit, according to industry blog Morning Chalk Up.
Floyd died while handcuffed after a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. His death set off protests around the U.S. and the globe.