Embattled former CrossFit CEO sells company in wake of controversial George Floyd comments

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. — Former CrossFit owner Greg Glassman has sold the niche fitness brand after stepping down as the company’s CEO, following backlash he received over remarks he made about George Floyd to fellow gym owners and on social media.

Dave Castro, CrossFit’s current CEO, announced in a message to affiliate gym owners on Wednesday the enterprise’s sale to Eric Roza, co-owner of a CrossFit gym in Boulder, Colorado, and the former senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Data Cloud, The New York Times reported.

In addition to citing Roza’s success as a CrossFit gym owner, Castro’s introduction of the tech executive to his new role stressed he will be “working hard to rebuild bridges,” the Times reported.

Castro’s message also called Roza “one of us” and someone who “also knows how to build great, inclusive workplaces.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but BBC News reported the global business, based on a branded exercise regimen that stresses high-intensity workouts, was previously valued at $4 billion. There are currently about 13,000 CrossFit gyms in 158 countries.

“In the past weeks, divisive statements and allegations have left many members of our community struggling to reconcile our transformative experiences in the local box with what we’ve been reading online,” Roza, a former Oracle executive who is now working for U.S. venture capitalists General Catalyst, said in a prepared statement.

“My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit,” Roza said.

Glassman’s woes began in early June when he posted a tweet making light of both the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd in police custody. He then spoke belligerently to CrossFit gym owners about race and racism in a Zoom call leaked to reporters, the Times reported.

“We’re not mourning for George Floyd. I don’t think me or any of my staff are,” Glassman said on the Zoom call, adding, “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than it’s the ‘white’ thing to do. I get that pressure but give me another reason.”

According to BBC News, Glassman’s later tweets, begun in response to a public health body’s assertion on the social media platform that racism is a public health issue, only galvanized public outcry.

“It’s FLOYD-19,” Glassman tweeted, followed by, “Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally.”


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