Many gyms have ended their affiliation with the CrossFit brand due to a racist tweet made by former CEO Greg Glassman, among other racist comments (Glassman has since stepped down). In doing so, these gyms have definitely made a statement to CrossFit HQ, one that will surely hit them financially as it costs $3,000 a year to become a CrossFit affiliate. In addition, gyms must have at least one Level-1 certified coach to acquire affiliation, and the certification costs $1,000. After the fallout of Glassman's racist remarks and gyms disaffiliating from CrossFit HQ, what are the next steps CrossFit gyms can take to be more inclusive and to stand against racism?
Instagram users Jon Kopra (@jonjon.kops) and Sarah A. (@sasa_nova) shared their initiative called "CrossFit Boxes Pull Up," which is a call to action for what CrossFit boxes can now do to become more inclusive and start to dismantle racism in the fitness community. The post has the caption "Whereas we understand and appreciate the support, it's time to take concrete action." Swipe right on the Instagram post for suggestions and explanations for these five actions gyms and boxes can do and how we can hold them accountable:
- Open you doors
- Create opportunity
- Publish BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) stats
POPSUGAR spoke with Jon, who explained the motivation behind this post. Jon saw many gyms saying they wanted to change and wouldn't tolerate racism, and he asked one gym in particular what they planned to do about it. "They asked if I had any thoughts," he said. "To be honest, I didn't have a clue when they asked me, so I spent a sleepless night thinking about it."
Sure, gyms could donate their $3,000 fee to a charity, but Jon didn't want it to just end there. He said it came down to three things CrossFit gyms have that they could offer: money, gym space, and members' knowledge, and that was the inspiration behind these five actions that could help the CrossFit community support the Black community, be more inclusive, and start to dismantle racism.
Along with these actions, Instagram user and Level-2 CrossFit coach Lauren English (@wildbluefitness) said, "Your voice as a gym is powerful. You are in your community, creating great relationships through fitness. How can you do more?" Here are her tips that include making public statements and offering financially inclusive membership options to make the gym accessible to everyone.
Many if us are angry and upset, but maybe we're at a loss for what we can do to make a change, so hopefully these will offer some tangible ideas that gyms can start implementing right now.