CrossFit founder and former chief executive Greg Glassman has decided to sell the fitness company to Eric Roza, two weeks after stepping down amid widespread criticism for his reaction to the death of George Floyd.
In leaked remarks earlier this month, Glassman told gym owners: ‘We’re not mourning for George Floyd — I don’t think me or any of my staff are.’ He also sent a tweet that was widely criticized.
He has also come under fire following allegations that Galssman created a sexist working environment and sexually harassed staff.
Roza, a CrossFit athlete and founder of CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder, Colorado, will also become the company’s CEO, he said in a tweet on Wednesday.
In a public statement from Roza addressed to the CrossFit community, he said that he would be working hard to regain the trust of those who have became disillusioned with CrossFit.
He also ackowledged the ‘divisive statements’ and ‘allegations’ surrounding the controversies with Glassman.
Pictured: CrossFit founder and former CEO Greg Glassman, pictured wearing a shirt that reads ‘unbuyable’, has now announced that he will be selling the company as well following a number of controversies
‘My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit,’ Roza wrote. ‘We open our arms to everyone, and I will be working hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost.
‘I come to you with deep humility and the realization that we have hard work to do. I am committed to listening, I am committed to learning, and I am committed to leading positive change.
‘Most of all, I am committed to CrossFit and to you, as a member of our community.’
Roza is also on the broad of several companies, including mental health startup SonderMind and wealth-management firm Crestone Capital, according to his LinkedIn profile.
In a Tweet citing Glassman, CrossFit wrote: ‘It is time for the founder to bid adieu.
‘I started a company with some essential and elegant truths that nobody could, or maybe would, tell. It resulted in the fastest growing chain in world history. It did so well and became so popular that it has become a thing far larger than I could have hoped.’
CrossFit did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment. Reuters could not reach Glassman for a comment.
The founder-CEO faced a lot of flak for his controversial tweet, which also resulted in Adidas AG-owned Reebok ending its 10-year-old partnership with CrossFit.
Glassman had then apologized and announced his decision to step down.
CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, pictured, resigned after his controversial remarks on a Zoom call with gym owners about the death of George Floyd were leaked
Eric Roza, pictured, will now take over as owner and CEO of CrossFit following the purchase from founder Greg Glassman
In a statement from Eric Roza, who is buying the company from Greg Glassman, he said that he will be working hard to regain the trust of those who became disillusioned with CrossFit during Glassman’s ownership
Glassman came under fire for his leaked reaction to the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes on May 25 sparking nation-wide outrage.
In leaked remarks earlier this month, Glassman told gym owners: ‘We’re not mourning for George Floyd — I don’t think me or any of my staff are.’
‘Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do — other than that, give me another reason,’ he asked a Minneapolis gym owner who had questioned why the brand hadn’t posted a statement supporting Black Lives Matter.
He also came under fire for a tweet he sent on June 6.
Responding to a tweet from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in which it described racism and discrimination as a public health issue that needs an urgent response, Glassman retweeted the post with the words: ‘It’s FLOYD-19.’
Glassman later stepped down as CEO of CrossFit, Inc, which he founded in 2000, adding: ‘I have decided to retire.’
In his resignation statement, Glassman said: ‘On Saturday I created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members.
‘Those who know me know that my sole issue is the chronic disease epidemic. I know that CrossFit is the solution to this epidemic and that CrossFit HQ and its staff serve as the stewards of CrossFit affiliates worldwide.
‘I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions. They are too important to jeopardize.’
In a lengthy statement, CrossFit apologized for not publicly announcing its support for Black Lives Matter.
In audio of the the Zoom call reported by Buzzfeed News, Glassman said of Floyd, ‘I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community.’
CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman resigned after his controversial remarks on a Zoom call with gym owners about the death of George Floyd were leaked. He has now been accused of of helping to create a sexist workplace culture at the company
Earlier this week, Glassman was also accused of helping to create a sexist workplace culture where men rated women on how much they wanted to have sex with them.
A number of ex-employees told The New York Times the former CEO would sexually harass staff. They said such was the culture at the company even the WiFi password was a sexist obscenity.
His ex wife Lauren Jenai confirmed the culture former employees have described, adding: ‘100 percent. That happens every day, all day.’ She said: ‘He’s the father of my kids. I care about Greg and about CrossFit but this should be addressed.’
Glassman’s ex wife Lauren Jenai, pictured, confirmed the culture former employees have described, adding: ‘100 percent. That happens every day, all day’
‘They are nasty about women and they talk freely in front of them and it does make my skin crawl’, Jenai added.
‘I think it does need to be said that both Greg and I, and our friends, have raw senses of humor. There is a lot of that banter that I don’t find offensive but the difference was, I was in a position of leadership so my job didn’t depend on how I responded to those remarks.
‘For me, the bigger problem than the language is the culture behind it. If you speak out, you’re out. I’ve seen it firsthand, over and over and over.’
Jenai announced in October last year she was set to tie the knot with her fiance, Franklin Tyrone Tucker, who is being held in prison ahead of his murder trial.
A CrossFit spokesman confirmed Glassman denies all of the allegations against him. They suggested the claims were part of a wider push by people, including Jenai, to ‘devalue the company and buy it for scraps’.
But accusations leveled at Glassman include him taking pictures of female colleague’s chests and pulling at their clothes.
One worker says: ‘There was a constant narrative about women. He was always descriptive in nature about it…bragging about sexual escapades.’
Another said: ‘The systematic way they chip away at your self-confidence, I had never experienced anything like that.’
Reporting their claims was difficult, they say, as Glassman’s sister Katie was the highest ranking female executive.
In 2012 former employee Julie Kelly threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. Glassman is said to have told former Navy Seal Andy Stumpf: ‘I had to pay that w***e.’
Stumpf added: ‘I cannot count the number of times that derogatory and specifically sexual comments were made about female staff members directly in my presence.’
Athlete Lindsey Johnson said she heard stories of ‘straight-up bullying and sexual harassment of women’.