The Will to Act

Greg Glassman is an asshat. This is neither surprising nor shocking to me. His crass tweet trying to make CrossFit relevant within the context of “Racism is a Public Health Issue” by referencing George Floyd was surprising and is inexcusable.

When I was coaching the “Stand for Something” workout, I shared what the most horrid part of George Floyd’s death was to me and I share it again here: it was everyone’s inaction. The context of that situation was immediately dire: someone was dying right in front of their eyes and the will to act could have saved a life.

The context of our current situation as a collective society is equally dire. We are at an inflection point in our country where words are loud but actions or lack thereof will speak volumes louder than mere words ever could. Not only does every action have a reaction, but so does every inaction. It is no longer enough to be non-racist (inaction). We need to have the will to act. We Must All Be Anti Racist.

Veracity Athletics chooses to be anti-racist. We, like most small businesses, are financially hurting, but we still have the responsibility to act and stand for what we believe in even in the face of further losses. We must acknowledge when someone has said something racist, even if out of ignorance, and do what we can to lead them to the light; to be anti racist. In terms of businesses, this is often achieved by the consumer pulling financial support of their products to direct their attention to the important issues that need to be tackled with immediate effect. Accordingly:

Veracity Athletics will pull support from CrossFit, Inc in the form of not officially participating in the 2020 CrossFit Games Open this October. If not hosting the 2020 Open has an impact on the membership revenue at CFV, so be it. 

Further, Veracity Athletics will evaluate its affiliation with CrossFit, Inc over the course of the next 12 months to provide ample opportunity for Greg Glassman to right his wrongs. If not enough corrective action was taken, we will become unaffiliated. If not being an official CrossFit affiliate has an impact on the membership revenue at CFV, so be it. 

The second point / subsequent full year of evaluation is very important. Please be clear: as of right now, this is not a lifetime ban on the CrossFit Games Open nor an immediate un-affiliation from all things CrossFit, Inc. For as much as I believe his flippant tweet was in disgustingly poor taste, I also believe in a person’s ability to change and to learn and grow from their mistakes. Most people will stumble and fall. Who among us hasn’t? And who among us hasn’t also received some love /care / forgiveness afterwards – oftentimes undeservedly immediately afterward?

We have to help each other accomplish the wonderful things we are all capable of and I do not believe indefinitely withholding support – financial or otherwise – sets anyone up for success as this does not include the opportunity to help. What kind of community would we have if our coaches permanently kicked out every athlete who couldn’t perform an OHS after their first stab at it? It is our collective responsibility to help. Given corrective support usually through genuine love / care / forgiveness, I firmly believe most people will right their wrongs. 

While one tweet can speak volumes, it also can’t discredit the volumes of good work being done. CrossFit, Inc has done a ton for me and continues to do a ton for the health and wellness of a large population of people – and you have to count yourselves among that population; among the fruits of the good work! With that being said, if CrossFit, Inc doesn’t right their wrongs, there are consequences. The worst case scenario is that the status quo remains the status quo. Best case scenario is that something good, positive, and powerful comes from this – and I’m hoping for the best. At some point, I do believe there will be some good to specifically come out of this.

With shame, I will admit to some recent personal changes. At the start of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, I used to be a nonchalant All Lives Matter person. Not from a place of “what about XYZ” but quite literally because I believe that all lives do matter. Only after having (recently) chosen to listen and to educate myself, have I come to the conclusion that taking an all lives matter stance is wrong. I was ignorant because I did not choose to educate myself on what was really being talked about when Black Lives Matter came up. I now choose to only promote Black Lives Matter. Veracity Athletics will choose to only promote Black Lives Matter.

The best response to the all lives matter retort that I have read and would like to lovingly share, references the parable of the lost sheep in the Bible. To quickly paraphrase: Shepherd has 100 sheep. Shepherd loses 1 sheep. Shepherd leaves 99 sheep to look for the 1 lost sheep.

It’s not that the 99 sheep didn’t matter, it’s that the 1 was in danger and needed help immediately.

The story ends with the shepherd finding the lost sheep and everyone celebrating. It was not inaction but rather the action of the shepherd that ultimately led to the collective celebration. We are all on the brink of a celebration, but we all must have the will to act according to the courage of our convictions in order to get there.

If you feel so inclined, please help us fundraise for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund by purchasing a T-shirt to show others that you Stand for Something.

Happy to continue the discussion at any time with any one of you.

#antiracist #blacklivesmatter #truthinfitness

– Leonardo Munoz | Coach / Owner at Veracity Athletics