(Reuters) – CrossFit founder Greg Glassman has apologized for a tweet that equated the police killing of a black man in the United States to the COVID-19 pandemic, after it drew widespread criticism and resulted in footwear brand Reebok ending its partnership with the fitness regimen.
In response to a tweet by research firm Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation that classified racism and discrimination as public health issue, Glassman, who is also the chief executive of CrossFit, had posted bit.ly/3f2yNb2 on Saturday, “It’s FLOYD-19”.
The tweet related to the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in the U.S. state of Minneapolis on May 25 and was seen as insensitive.
The fallout was fast, with AFP bit.ly/2BGNWQJ reporting that Adidas AG-owned Reebok deciding to end its partnership with CrossFit later this year, citing “recent events”.
“Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ,” the report quoted Reebok as saying.
In a statement on twitter, Glassman said bit.ly/2MDBzaj on Sunday, “I, CrossFit HQ, and the CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday. My heart is deeply saddened by the pain it has caused. It was a mistake, not racist but a mistake.”
CrossFit did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Reebok’s action. Adidas did not respond to a Reuters request on Sunday night for comment.