If you have not heard yet, you will. Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit, recently made a comment that has offended people for multiple reasons. I’ll let you do your own research and make your own judgments about Greg Glassman’s tweet. However, I’m sure it will get brought up, so I wanted to address a few things as a whole.
Who is Greg Glassman?
He created the CrossFit brand and is the current CEO of CrossFit. Some people might assume that makes him my boss, but CrossFit isn’t a franchise. It’s an affiliate.
Basically, affiliates just pay money to use CrossFit in their name and marketing materials. CrossFit is trademarked and therefore they can legally come after anyone who uses their brand name without permission.
Each affiliate is able to run their box as they see fit. Each affiliate depends on CrossFit for nothing other than the name and legal support.
What do you think of Greg Glassman’s tweet?
Glassman is nuts and always has been. Obviously, I don’t know him personally but from everything I have read and heard, he just seems like an odd duck.
He is constantly involved in drama, he likes to pick fights, he has said wildly insensitive/inappropriate stuff in the past, and he probably will again in the future too.
With that being said, he is fiercely protective of his brand. Overall, I suspect he just doesn’t understand how his words/actions affect people or CrossFit as a whole.
At Buffalo Nickel CrossFit, We Do Not Support His Comments
Although Glassman is a loose canon, Buffalo Nickel CrossFit always tries to stay out of the drama that seems to always surround him. But, sometimes we get roped in just because we are a CrossFit.
Does Greg Glassman’s tweet show a poor leadership choice for the organization? Yes.
Was it an idiotic and uncaring thing to say in such a setting and at such a time? Yes.
Was it insensitive? Yes.
Did it do anyone any good by saying it? No.
Does Greg Glassman speak for all or even the majority of affiliates, specifically Buffalo Nickel CrossFit? Absolutely not!
Will BNCF dis-affiliate because of Greg Glassman’s tweet? Not be a CrossFit, but still be a gym?
That is undecided at the moment. I try to view and learn all the possible angles of a situation before making a decision. Basically, I want to see what changes and or moves are made. This is not because I am a Greg Glassman fan, but because I am a CrossFit fan and a CrossFit community supporter.
I am reminded of the saying: “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater”. Or, it’s like when a car breaks down. You don’t just leave the car on the side of the road and go buy a completely new car. You take it to a mechanic and find out what the issue was. Once the issue is fixed, you can continue driving the car.
Things take maintenance. It is unrealistic to think every relationship or dealing with people will be 100% perfect all the time. Greg Glassman’s tweet is just one of many examples of this.
Do I think other affiliates are having a knee-jerk reaction to dis-affiliating?
Yes, in my opinion CrossFit is more than Greg Glassman. CrossFit is a community. Every box is different but at BNCF we have always welcomed every type of person. CrossFit has helped lots of people in many ways. I think there is a very loud part of the community that has forgotten that.
CrossFit has done many great things for smaller gyms/athletic centers that could not compete against larger organizations with deeper pockets. For years, CrossFit has fought for their affiliates/coaches in legal battles and has spent millions of dollars to make sure we can operate as we see fit and don’t have to answer to large government groups that don’t even know what a barbell is.
It is both fortunate and unfortunate that CrossFit has Greg Glassman. I don’t think CrossFit would be what it is today or maybe even still be around if it were not for Glassman. I also think that some of Glassman’s wires might not be fully connected.
It’s similar to Elon Musk calling one of the cave divers that rescued the soccer team a “pedo guy” and going wild on Twitter. Some people are amazing at creating something, and are truly an artist in their field, but that doesn’t mean they need to be the public face of the company or have access to the brand’s social media.
I ask that people please be patient and understanding. Give CrossFit the company the time they need to make a decision is fair and rational.
Note: shortly after this post was published, Greg Glassman resigned from his position as CEO of CrossFit. Reebok also ended their partnership with CrossFit in response to the controversy. Although he has apologized, many of CrossFit’s affiliates do not accept this.