Reebok has made the decision to cut ties with CrossFit in response to a controversial tweet made by CrossFit founder Greg Glassman. The tweet in question equated the police killing of George Floyd to the COVID-19 pandemic, which sparked widespread backlash and criticism.

Glassman’s tweet was a response to a tweet by research firm Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which classified racism and discrimination as a public health issue. His comment, “It’s FLOYD-19,” drew a connection between Floyd’s death and the pandemic, a comparison that was widely condemned as insensitive.

As a result of this tweet, Reebok, which is owned by Adidas AG, announced that it will end its partnership with CrossFit later this year. The reason given by Reebok for this decision was the “recent events,” indicating their disapproval of Glassman’s tweet and their commitment to taking a stand against racism.

In response to the backlash, Glassman issued an apology for his choice of words. He stated on Twitter that he and CrossFit HQ are opposed to racism and acknowledged that his tweet was a mistake. However, CrossFit has not issued a public statement regarding Reebok’s decision, and Adidas has yet to comment on the matter.

This controversy serves as a reminder of the growing importance for brands to align themselves with social issues. Consumers nowadays expect companies to share their values and actively support causes that promote equality and inclusivity. By severing ties with CrossFit, Reebok is sending a strong message that it will not tolerate racism and insensitivity.

The incident raises questions about the future of CrossFit as a brand and how other companies will handle similar situations. In a time when social responsibility is paramount, brands must be cautious about the statements and actions of their leaders to protect their reputation and maintain the support of their customers.

Useful Links:
– For more information about the importance of brands taking a stand on social issues, visit this Forbes article.
– To learn about effective crisis communication strategies for brands, check out this resource.