Kristen Moustrouphis, the owner of CrossFit Beacon in Portland, is a firm believer in the CrossFit model of training.
But when CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman posted insensitive tweets pertaining to George Floyd, the black man who died after white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes during an arrest, Moustrouphis decided to drop her gym’s CrossFit affiliation.
Beginning July 1, her business will be re-branded as Beacon Community Fitness.
Moutrouphis said Maniac CrossFit in South Portland and CrossFit Casco Bay in Portland also have publicly announced their intention to drop the CrossFit affiliation because of Glassman’s actions.
CrossFit Bangor, Old Town-based CrossFit Black Bear and Ellsworth’s CrossFit Acadia all have posted Facebook messages condemning Glassman’s tweets, but have not dropped the affiliation. CrossFit Black Bear is considering doing so.
“We feel strongly in our values and one of our core values is creating a safe place for all people to [work out in],” Moustrouphis said. “To have [Glassman] speak out in a way we view as being racist doesn’t match or align with our values.
“Dropping our affiliation was the right choice for us,” she said. “Our membership supported our decision.”
On Saturday, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation tweeted “Racisim and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response.”
Glassman answered with a tweet saying “It’s Floyd-19,” referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Glassman sent out another tweet on Sunday directed at the IHME that said, “Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust and riots. Thanks!”
Glassman eventually apologized but sports equipment and apparel company Reebok decided on Monday to end its partnership with CrossFit.
“We have been affiliated with CrossFit since 2012. But we’re excited to break off and have complete autonomy. We can really stand up for our mission values,” Moustrouphis said.
CrossFit Beacon is independently owned and Moustrouphis said ending its affiliation with CrossFit means they won’t have access to the brand.
“CrossFit is a recognized brand worldwide. People seek out CrossFit. It is a brand people love,” she said.
But she quickly pointed out that even though they will lose their rights to be named CrossFit, they still plan to follow its training tenets.
“It is a model of fitness we still believe in,” Moustrouphis said.
By dropping the affiliation, businesses will be spared an annual fee to carry the CrossFit name.
“It’s significant. It ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 for a small business. We plan to allocate those monies to moving our mission forward,” Moustrophis said.
In a Facebook post, CrossFit Black Bear said it will end its affiliation if Glassman doesn’t resign and may also do so even if he does, depending upon how CrossFit handles the situation.
“We will continue to provide the same high quality fitness and nutrition coaching no matter what the name is,” the post read. “We are very proud of our community and we are better than Greg Glassman’s words.”
The CrossFit Bangor Facebook post was authored by franchise owner Melinda Metten, who said she vehemently condemns racism and supports the Black Lives Matter Movement.
“For now, we can choose to still be a CrossFit gym and still not support, in any way, what Greg Glassman, the founder, said. I do believe that CrossFit is much more than one man. His actions do not represent our community values.
“Greg Glassman does not represent us as a gym. Yes, we have the name ‘CrossFit’, but we have always done things our way. Our way is supportive, uplifting and judgment free with a “come as you are” environment,” the post read.
“In this moment in our country’s and community’s history, it’s important not to be silent and to state that it is our position to categorically oppose racism and support Black Lives Matter. We will continue to focus on helping our members and visitors become healthier through fitness and nutrition guidance while nurturing a caring, positive and supportive community,” the post read.
CrossFit Acadia also used the platform to express its appreciation for the local police department.
“[It has] worked with, not against, peaceful protest organizers; has publicly spoken out against the murder of George Floyd and has commited to working to end any policing systems that are racist and unjust.”