Update 2: CrossFit fired Russell Berger, who tweeted out homophobic comments. Details.
Update 1: CrossFit is taking the homophobia of spokesperson Russell Berger seriously:
Effective immediately, Russell Berger has been placed on unpaid leave while management completes a thorough review.— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 6, 2018
A CrossFit gym in Indianapolis has closed after gym staffers revolted when the gym’s owners canceled a planned LGBTQ Pride Event.
Trainers at CrossFit Infiltrate, located in downtown Indianapolis, had planned a workout to celebrate Indy Pride, set for this weekend. When gym owners got wind of it, they shut down the planned event. Members were understandably upset, and some threatened to pull out of the gym. That’s when gym owners doubled down on their homophobia and shot off this email, provided to Outsports by OutWOD and reported by Fox59:
Our underlying goal for the staff and members at CrossFit Infiltrate and our other gyms CrossFit White River and University Ave CrossFit, is total health and well-being for the individual and the community. Total health involves the body, the emotions, relationships, and the spirit. At the foundational detractor from health, as we believe God sets the parameters for, is pride. We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility, not pride. Humility is seeing oneself as they truly are, and as God truly defines them to be. As a business we will choose to deploy our resources towards those efforts and causes that line up with our own values and beliefs.
Russell Berger, who wears the monicker of CrossFit’s Chief Knowledge Officer, went all-in on Twitter praising the local owners and attacking the LGBTQ community as sinners. He deleted some of his comments from Twitter, but of course not before we took a screen capture:
In response to all of this, the head coach and general manager of CrossFit Infiltrate resigned, leading to the closing of the gym, according to Will Lanier, executive director of OutWOD, an organization that harnesses health and workouts to LGBTQ charitable causes.
“While OUTWOD was disheartened and shocked to see a CrossFit gym bar staff and fellow members from celebrating their diversity,” Lanier said in a statement to Outsports and member athletes, “we were heartened by the response of the coaching staff and management.”
CrossFit released this tweet, a quote it claims is from CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman, though the organization has not yet distanced itself from Berger’s hate:
“I am crazy proud of the gay community in CrossFit.”— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 6, 2018
Given the number of LGBTQ people who participate in CrossFit worldwide, it will be interesting to see what kind of backlash the entire brand takes as this isn’t the best look during Pride Month. There’s no separating the brand from this, as a national-brand spokesperson has made it clear LGBTQ people are sinners in the eyes of CrossFit and its prominent employees.
This should get interesting.