Written By CROSSFIT BRACKNELL Member Isabel Deacon (@izzydeacon)
When the news of George Floyds death spread across the globe, it came as no surprise that the tragedy would ignite a powerful uproar in the Black Lives Matter movement. One that would engage a much wider audience than just the black community.
It has been amazing to see sport stars, celebrities and global businesses using their platform to spread information and raise awareness on the movement. But it has also been disheartening to see the response made by CrossFit HQ – whom remained silent.
The lack of support shown by CrossFit HQ on the anti-racism protests was a huge contradiction from a company that brands themselves as inclusive and has an extremely diverse global community. Then to follow this, the racist and insensitive tweets/e-mails written by the CrossFit CEO, Greg Glassman, only added to the anger and disappointment.
The CrossFit brand has faced the repercussions as Reebok announced the end to their 10-year partnership and hundreds of affiliate owners cut ties. It also came as no surprise that some of the top names of the sport have taken to social media to vent their frustration and criticise the brand, with some even potentially leaving the sport for good.
By Tuesday 9th June, Greg Glassman announced his retirement as the CrossFit CEO.
At CrossFit Bracknell we are deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions of Greg Glassman. We know it is wrong and disrespectful to discredit a movement that means so much to so many, especially when it includes individuals from your own community.
Sport and fitness have the undoubted ability to unite people regardless of their skin colour, but the actions of Greg Glassman have unfortunately gone against this to create an uncomfortable and hostile environment, particularly for the black community.
We stand strongly and will not allow these actions to impact the small yet supportive community we have created at CrossFit Bracknell. We always have and always will strive to be welcoming and inclusive to every single one of our members regardless of race, religion or skin colour. The fitness industry has remained one of the few places where individuals are not subjected to discrimination and we refuse to allow that to change.
So many of the most successful and inspirational athletes in the world are black, and for CrossFit this is no exception. We acknowledge and admire the diversity of this sport and will not let the mistakes made by CrossFit HQ effect our personal values.
Despite these circumstances our love for the sport has not changed. For all the members at CFB including myself, we joined CFB to become part of a strong fitness community and to challenge ourselves with this unique way of training. All of which have not changed. Despite standing separately to the views of the CrossFit HQ.
We hope that the new direction of the CrossFit HQ strives to accurately represent, empathise and unite its global and diverse community. We wish to see it become an organisation that does not reinforce systemic racism, but instead, uses it’s platform to actively stand against it.
CrossFit should unite us, not divide us.
We urge anyone reading to join the Black Lives Matter movement. As for the first time ever, many finally feel hopeful that equality can be cemented into our society. Continue to sign petitions, donate to charities, educate yourself, share information and start conversations. This is a long-term commitment that we must stick to. Only then can we create a more hopeful future for the black community.
Use the link to find petitions, charities and educational sources.