The partnership deal between Reebok and CrossFit HQ will end before 2021. The deal will not be renewed because of a tweet about George Floyd and the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Recent events including the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, Tony McDade, James Scurlock, and Ahmaud Arbery testify to the racial injustice that persists across our country and within our communities,” IHME director Christopher Murray stated on June 7, 2020. “We share in the outrage and anguish expressed around the United States in response to the treatment of Black Americans by the police and the toll of police killings and similar injustices are pervasive in many other parts of the world. We commit to working to produce the evidence that racism and discrimination are critical public health issues that demand an urgent response, wherever they occur.”
On the same day, CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman took to Twitter to criticize the IHME particularly its claim that racism is a public health issue. For him, the health research institute’s COVID-19 model failed and criticized it for modeling a solution to racism.
Many people found Glassman’s tweets distasteful. Reebok was also so disgusted it decided not to renew its partnership with CrossFit HQ.
“We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community,” a Reebok spokesperson said in a statement obtained by CNN. Glassman took to Twitter to apologize, admitted that the tweets were a mistake but insisted they were not racist.
Glassman solely created CrossFit, a branded fitness regimen. He and his former wife Lauren Jenai founded CrossFit, Inc. in 2000 in Santa Cruz, California, United States.
After Glassman and Jenai’s divorce, he obtained complete control over CrossFit, Inc. In 2012, he bought her share in the company with a $16 million loan from private equity investment firm Summit Partners, which is based in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, SB Nation reported.
Currently based in Boston, Reebok was founded by Joe Foster and Jeff Foster in 1895 in Bolton, Lancashire, England. The footwear and apparel company has been a subsidiary of sporting goods giant Adidas, which was founded and is headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany.
CrossFit sportswear is distributed by Reebok. The Boston-based footwear and apparel company is the official footwear and apparel sponsor not only of CrossFit but also of Spartan Race and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.