CrossFit’s CEO Scandal Put the Company and Brand on a Slippery Slope: Business Circle

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On June 10th, Greg Glassman stepped down from his position as CEO of CrossFit, and on this segment of Business Casual, Tyler Kern, Taylor Bagley, and Daniel Litwin opine on whether or not this move will be enough to ensure the future of the company as well as many of its affiliate gyms.

Established in 2000 and characterized by high-intensity functional interval training and sound nutrition practices, CrossFit has been a highly popular health and fitness lifestyle solution that enables members to accomplish any goal—from improved health to weight loss to better performance. Boasting a network of more than 13,000 affiliates around the world with over 7,000 gyms offering the program in the US alone, it’s estimated that there are roughly 4 million CrossFitters so devoted to this competitive approach to fitness that the community has often been described as cult-like. Well, Mr. Glassman’s recent insensitive remarks regarding George Floyd as well as the COVID-19 pandemic on social media and via email may have driven a wedge in this close-‘fit’ community, alienating members and gyms alike while outraging socially-oriented organizations like Black Lives Matter, medical-focused groups like the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and even the NFL.

Litwin, Kern and Bagley chat about the many companies and brands that have crafted statements in support of the BLM movement and the fact that CrossFit remained silent during these weeks of nationwide protests and civil unrest, the racially and socially tactless tweets and emails between Glassman and the IHME and several of his affiliate gyms that sparked this national scandal, the proposed withdrawal of many gym affiliates from their contracts with the company, name brands like Reebok, FitAid and Rogue severing their partnerships with CrossFit, and the financial bind gyms are already facing due to pandemic social distancing and how Glassman’s callous statements will further tip the fiscal scale for these workout locations as we move into the future.

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