Cancel culture is exhausting. Every day we wake up to news of someone caught violating the sacred precepts of wokeism and losing their job—or worse. This week it’s Greg Glassman, founder and CEO of CrossFit, who was forced into “retirement” after posting a two-word tweet that enraged the mob.
Glassman’s crime was tweeting “It’s Floyd-19” in response to an article calling racism a public health issue. For all anyone knows, Glassman was agreeing with the premise of the article, and asserting that police brutality is every bit the public health crisis COVID-19 is. Did anyone ask him what he meant by it? Not as far as I can tell. The mob declared the tweet racist and insensitive and they were off to the races.
He was also caught saying on a Zoom call with CrossFit affiliates that “I doubt very much that they’re mourning for [George] Floyd. I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community.” The comment was in response to someone on the call demanding that he speak out about the horrible, unjust death George Floyd suffered at the knee of a Minneapolis police officer.
Everyone knows you can’t say certain things in America anymore. Glassman should have known better.
As is the norm during this Great Awokening, Glassman was frog-marched across social media and branded a vile racist by anyone who could get a piece of him. Then things began to escalate.
First, Reebok ended its exclusive 10-year sponsorship of CrossFit and licensing of CrossFit apparel, saying, “Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. 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.”
“Recent events” being an ambiguous two-word tweet.
Next, Rich Froning, four-time CrossFit Games champion, blasted Glassman on Instagram, saying he now finds it impossible “to stay loyal to leadership who make callous statements that alienate and divide in a time when unity is needed.”
Another CrossFit Games champion, Tia-Clair Toomey, declared, “My future with Crossfit is unclear and depends on the direction of HQ.” She added that she was “incredibly saddened, disappointed and frustrated” at Glassman.
“I’m stepping down as CEO of CrossFit, Inc., and I have decided to retire,” he said in a statement posted on the CrossFit website. “On Saturday I 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,” he added. “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. They are too important to jeopardize.”
Dave Castro, the company’s new CEO, said the CrossFit community is “hurt” now.
Adide: How is it that Castro is able to speak the the views of the “CrossFit community” at large? My experience with CrossFit has been that people show up, work out, and go home. Are there other boxes that subject their members to political lectures and poll their members about their political views? Sounds nightmarish. That’s not what CrossFit is supposed to be about.
“Our shared bond brings together millions of people with differing opinions, viewpoints, and experiences. Friction is inevitable. Common ground, mutual respect, and fellowship must also be inevitable. I’m honored to take on the role of CEO of CrossFit, Inc. 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.”
By “do right” Castro no doubt means that he’s going to focus his efforts on sating the mob’s lust for power and scalps. But it won’t be enough. It’s never enough. Grossman tried going the repentance route, tweeting, “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.”
But cancel culture, as we’re all learning, is a one-and-done religion. You offend the gods of wokeism or impede their march to their imagined woketopia and it’s over for you — your livelihood, your reputation, your friends: gone, gone, gone. There’s no forgiveness—ever. Run afoul of these activists and their corporate enablers and you can never be redeemed.
A Forbes article about Glassman’s virtual shaming got to the heart of the matter:
Before Glassman’s tweet, CrossFit had stayed noticeably silent on Twitter and Instagram on the Black Lives Matter movement as a host of companies publicly took a stand on anti-racism following Floyd’s death. CrossFit has previously pledged public support for the LGBT community, as well as dedicating its “Hero” workouts to fallen soldiers.
Silence is violence, according to the mob. Avoiding controversial issues is not enough. You must be out and proud about whatever the progressive outrage of the day is, or you are by default supporting whatever they’re against.
Either way, you lose. Glassman’s past support for progressive causes wasn’t enough to insulate him from the mob’s vindictive tantrum. Bowing to the mob only makes it stronger and encourages it to demand more.
I’ve been hearing from a lot of people lately — friends, colleagues, acquaintances — about how they’re afraid the mob will come for them. One writer said she’s afraid her husband could lose his job because of her online opinions. Another had his thoughtcrimes on Facebook reported to his employer. He wasn’t fired, but he will be under surveillance to make sure he doesn’t write anything the mob finds offensive going forward.
I can’t think of anything more un-American.
This trainwreck of a moment in our history shows no signs of stopping. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that a full 80 percent of Americans “feel that things in the country are our of control.” Eighty percent!
And who can blame them?
If you feel like this is the beginning of the end of America, you’re not alone. I wish I could offer some hope that people will come to their senses and discover a new appreciation for free speech and individual autonomy, but I’m not optimistic. The Alexandria Occasio-Cortezes and the Bernie Bros are on the ascendency, funded and supported by corporate America—which, by the way, is complicit, if not responsible for the madness we’re seeing.
You will be made to kneel before the progressive mob, and. if you don’t like it, you’d better look like you do—or else.
Follow me on Twitter @pbolyard