I don’t know how racism is going to get fixed. But imagine it is going to take some compromise and some willingness to receive feedback and implement it. There are a lot of uncomfortable conversations ahead of us. When we have those conversations are we going to be willing to listen and change the way we behave to one another? That’s the only possible way I see growth and change happening.
Here’s the deal. If I say something offensive (and I’m sure I will because I’m human), I hope that you point it out and give me feedback and give me the opportunity to repair the damage. I hope to be the type of person that can hear feedback and use it as an opportunity for growth. Without that we are just going to create more and more damage. We should all of us be willing to see the damage we create and try to repair it.
Recently Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit, has created a lot of damage with his offensive words. He has been made aware and given the opportunity and has failed to repair the damage. He has not only damaged our personal relationship but CrossFit’s relationship with the public, the crossfitters, the affiliate owners, the employees, the sponsors, and, most importantly, the black community, that now more than ever needs allies.
I have been a part of the CrossFit community for over 15 years. I have opened gyms, taught seminars, trained countless people that have gone on to open gyms and train countless more people. The methodology of CrossFit combined with efforts of many good people has saved lives, created jobs, forged communities, friendships, and families. I hope that the good that was done is not undone by Greg’s thoughtless words. The people I have worked with in the CrossFit community have been committed to improving the lives of everyone they come into contact with which is why Greg’s words are so shocking and hurtful. My heart goes out to all of us that were hurt by his words.
I hope that CrossFit can repair the damage. Regardless, I must in good conscience take a stand against the company that has brought so much to my life and been a part of my identity for many years. I stand with the affiliates, athletes, and employees of CrossFit that are affected by this and, more importantly, I stand for the black community that deserves far far better than this. Black lives matter. They more than matter. They are essential.
I remain committed to being of service to those that wish to improve their lives through fitness. More importantly I remain committed to being a good person morally and ethically and standing up for what it right and not remaining silent when something is wrong. I hope that the relationships I have made over the years remain strong and that we can move forward with the common goals of community and health and equality.