CrossFit founder Greg Glassman has been accused of helping to create a sexist workplace culture where men rated women on how much they wanted to have sex with them.
A number of ex employees told The New York Times the former CEO would sexually harass staff. They said such was the culture at the company even the WiFi password was a sexist obscenity.
Glassman, 63, resigned as CEO of the brand earlier this month after his controversial remarks on a Zoom call with gym owners about the death of George Floyd were leaked.
His ex wife Lauren Jenai confirmed the culture former employees have described, adding: ‘100 percent. That happens every day, all day.’ She said: ‘He’s the father of my kids. I care about Greg and about CrossFit but this should be addressed.’
CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman resigned after his controversial remarks on a Zoom call with gym owners about the death of George Floyd were leaked. He has now been accused of of helping to create a sexist workplace culture at the company
Glassman’s ex wife Lauren Jenai, pictured, confirmed the culture former employees have described, adding: ‘100 percent. That happens every day, all day’
‘They are nasty about women and they talk freely in front of them and it does make my skin crawl’, Jenai added.
‘I think it does need to be said that both Greg and I, and our friends, have raw senses of humor. There is a lot of that banter that I don’t find offensive but the difference was, I was in a position of leadership so my job didn’t depend on how I responded to those remarks.
‘For me, the bigger problem than the language is the culture behind it. If you speak out, you’re out. I’ve seen it firsthand, over and over and over.’
A CrossFit spokesman confirmed Glassman denies all of the allegations against him. They suggested the claims were part of a wider push by people, including Jenai, to ‘devalue the company and buy it for scraps’.
But accusations leveled at Glassman include him taking pictures of female colleague’s chests and pulling at their clothes.
One worker says: ‘There was a constant narrative about women. He was always descriptive in nature about it…bragging about sexual escapades.’
Another said: ‘The systematic way they chip away at your self-confidence, I had never experienced anything like that.’
Reporting their claims was difficult, they say, as Glassman’s sister Katie was the highest ranking female executive.
In 2012 former employee Julie Kelly threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit. Glassman is said to have told former Navy Seal Andy Stumpf: ‘I had to pay that w***e.’
Stumpf added: ‘I cannot count the number of times that derogatory and specifically sexual comments were made about female staff members directly in my presence.’
Athlete Lindsey Johnson said she heard stories of ‘straight-up bullying and sexual harassment of women’.
CrossFit executive Dave Castro, who will take over as the company’s new CEO, has not commented on the new claims against Glassman.
CrossFit executive Dave Castro, who will take over as the company’s new CEO, has not commented on the new claims against Glassman
Reporting their claims was difficult, they say, as Glassman’s sister Katie, pictured, was the highest ranking female executive
In leaked remarks earlier this month, Glassman told gym owners: ‘We’re not mourning for George Floyd — I don’t think me or any of my staff are.’
‘Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do — other than that, give me another reason,’ he asked a Minneapolis gym owner who had questioned why the brand hadn’t posted a statement supporting Black Lives Matter.
Glassman later stepped down as CEO of CrossFit, Inc, which he founded in 2000, adding: ‘I have decided to retire.’
In his resignation statement, Glassman said: ‘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. 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.’
In a lengthy statement, CrossFit apologized for not publicly announcing its support for Black Lives Matter.
In audio of the the Zoom call reported by Buzzfeed News, Glassman said of Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes: ‘I don’t think that there’s a general mourning for Floyd in any community.’
The controversy arose on Saturday after the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) posted a tweet which described racism and discrimination as a public health issue that needs an urgent response.
The research firm shared a statement from its director, Christopher Murray, who said that IHME commits to researching racial disparities in a range of areas including the differential impacts of COVID-19.
Glassman retweeted the post with the words: ‘It’s FLOYD-19.’