SPOKANE, Wash — Spokane CrossFit athlete Cole Sager announced via Instagram on Friday that he will not compete in the 2020 CrossFit Games over what he calls "years of consistent immoral leadership and lack of character" from CrossFit leadership.
Sager made the announcement in a post at about 4:35 p.m. on Friday, starting the post with the words "I AM OUT."
He then goes on to say that he will not compete in this year's CrossFit Games and that he "cannot support the sport of CrossFit as things currently stand."
CrossFit has come under fire recently after CEO Greg Glassman resigned following remarks he made about the Black Lives Matter movement, saying in a Zoom call that he and his staff weren't mourning for George Floyd and asking why he should, among other things.
Glassman first came under fire when he responded to a tweet from research centre Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which stated “Racism is a public health issue”. Glassman responded to that tweet saying, “It’s FLOYD-19”. He then responded again saying, "Your failed model quarantined us and now you’re going to model a solution to racism? George Floyd’s brutal murder sparked riots nationally. Quarantine alone is ‘accompanied in every age and under all political regimes by an undercurrent of suspicion, distrust, and riots.’ Thanks!"
Floyd died during an arrest by the Minneapolis Police Department in which Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on the back of his neck, causing Floyd to say he couldn't breathe. His death sparked protests nationwide, including here in Spokane, and led to the four officers involved being charged.
Sager said in his post that his decision was not "about one tweet, one email, one appalling account revealed on a podcast, or even one individual's behavior," but instead comes after "years of consistent immoral leadership and lack of character."
Sager's full statement is replicated below. All emphasis was added by Sager:
"I AM OUT.
I will not compete at the 2020 CrossFit Games and cannot support the sport of CrossFit as things currently stand.
This decision is not about one tweet, one email, one appalling account revealed on a podcast, or even one individual's behavior. This is about years of consistent immoral leadership and lack of character - something I morally cannot stand silent through any longer.
Greg, and those who have enabled his behavior, cannot have any further leadership in our community. It is the only way forward for me in the sport.
Our community needs CHANGE. Real change. This is so much bigger than the CrossFit Games. This is about seeking change for the affiliates and community as a whole. We ALL deserve better."