Greg Glassman resigns as CrossFit CEO after controversial statements about George Floyd

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 31: Crossfit Inc. founder and CEO Greg Glassman (R) talks to employees prior to a presentation at the Half street location in Washington, DC on July 31, 2015. CrossFit is waging a war against new DC rules to regulate personal trainers, saying D.C. is a pawn in a commercial fight over personal fitness. The city council is proposing licensure and regulation of personal trainers. There is a fee involved. If the law should pass, DC would be the first municipality in the nation to do so. Crossfit Inc. officials are fighting the proposed law and say that they are trying to legislate something that they do not understand. (Photo by Linda Davidson / The Washington Post via Getty Images via CNN)

(CNN) — Embattled CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman is resigning after he sparked outrage over his response to nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

In a statement Tuesday, Glassman said he decided to retire after he “created a rift in the CrossFit community and unintentionally hurt many of its members.”

“Those who know me know that my sole issue is the chronic disease epidemic,” Glassman said. “I know that CrossFit is the solution to this epidemic and that CrossFit HQ and its staff serve as the stewards of CrossFit affiliates worldwide. I cannot let my behavior stand in the way of HQ’s or affiliates’ missions.”

CrossFit has been embroiled in controversy for the past week — first because gym owners said they were dismayed by the company’s failure to quickly put out a statement expressing solidarity with protesters or support for black athletes, as dozens of corporations did in the days following George Floyd’s death. Then on Saturday, Glassman posted several controversial tweets referencing Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic.

Glassman that day criticized a statement from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calling racism a public health issue by responding “Floyd-19.”

In a follow-up tweet, Glassman said the health research institute’s coronavirus model “failed,” and he criticized it for modeling a “solution to racism.”

Glassman’s tweets pushed Reebok and other brand partners, including gyms, to distance themselves from CrossFit. Glassman apologized and walked back the tweets on Sunday, saying that he and CrossFit “will not stand for racism.”

Glassman will be replaced as CEO by Dave Castro, the director of the CrossFit Games.

“I’m honored to take on the role of CEO of CrossFit, Inc.,” Castro said in a statement. “I hope to do right by affiliates, trainers, athletes, and other members of the CrossFit community around the world and never lose sight of the mission Greg established for us all.”