NEW YORK — Greg Glassman is selling CrossFit, following intense backlash over his response to the death of George Floyd and the anti-racism movement sweeping the country.
The move, which comes just two weeks after resigning from his post as chief executive, marks a more complete departure for Glassman from CrossFit. Glassman founded the company two decades ago, and it has since grown into one of the world’s most recognizable chain of gyms (or “boxes” as they’re called in the CrossFit community).
“It did so well and became so popular that it has become a thing far larger than I could have hoped,” Glassman said in a statement on Twitter Wednesday. “The world has changed, but the magnificent human machine, the proven benefits of CrossFit, and its market opportunity remain unchanged. It is time for the founder to bid adieu and find other creative outlets.”
Glassman is selling the privately-held company to Eric Roza, the owner of CrossFit Sanitas gym in Boulder, Colorado. Roza will also become CrossFit’s CEO, taking over from Dave Castro, who was named chief executive in the wake of Glassman’s resignation earlier this month.
The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close next month.
The sale comes after weeks of controversy for CrossFit and Glassman.
Gyms — which pay an annual fee to CrossFit to use the brand — said they began dropping their affiliations after requests for the company to speak up in support of the Black Lives Matter movement went unanswered.
On a June 6 call with gym owners, Glassman said CrossFit leadership was “not mourning for George Floyd,” according to a recording of the call obtained by CNN Business. Several hours later, Glassman posted a string of controversial tweets referencing Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic, sparking online outrage.
In the following days, hundreds more gyms dropped their affiliation with the company, and CrossFit lost major corporate sponsors including Reebok and Rogue Fitness.
Some in the CrossFit community have also claimed the company was rife with sexism, according to reporting by the New York Times.
Roza addressed the issues in a statement posted to Twitter Wednesday announcing his acquisition of the company.
“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 said. “My view is simple: Racism and sexism are abhorrent and will not be tolerated in CrossFit. We open our arms to everyone, and I will be working hard to rebuild bridges with those whose trust we have lost.”