When it rains, it pours, and that’s certainly the case for Greg Glassman (pictured above), CrossFit’s founder and now former CEO.
Glassman stepped down after leaked audio showed him dismissing the Black Lives Matter movement, claiming George Floyd’s death had nothing to do with race and spreading unfounded conspiracy theories regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
His removal as CEO, spun as a ‘retirement’ in an official statement on CrossFit’s website, came as no surprise to many current and former employees, although they assumed it would be his “routine and rampant sexual harassment” that would eventually take him down.
A blistering report in the New York Times outlines a toxic workplace culture, with the San Diego office’s Wi-FI password being “wetpussy”, the same password Glassman used at his home.
You can read the report in full here, but let’s pick out a few glaring examples of toxicity:
“According to the dozen interviewed [eight former employees and four athletes with strong ties to HQ], Mr. Glassman, 63, has verbally demeaned women, pulled at their clothes to try to peek at their cleavage and aimed his phone’s camera to snap photos of their breasts while they traveled with him for work (sometimes pressuring them to consider sharing hotel rooms or borrowed houses with him).”
“Male employees would rank female professional CrossFit athletes according to how much the men wanted to have sex with them, according to an email from a current CrossFit employee to a former one that was reviewed by The New York Times. (Mr. Glassman denies this, his spokeswoman said.)”
“In 2012, Mr. Glassman agreed to pay a financial settlement to Julie Kelly, a former employee whose lawyers threatened to file a sexual harassment lawsuit, according to three people in the CrossFit community with direct knowledge of the situation.”
“Also that year, Mr. Glassman was being driven to the airport by Andy Stumpf, a former Navy Seal with five Bronze Star medals and a Purple Heart who oversaw CrossFit, Inc.’s partnership with Reebok and also worked as Mr. Glassman’s pilot. “We were in the car and he was chuckling,” said Mr. Stumpf, in an interview. “I asked why he was in such a good mood and he said, ‘I finally finished up with the bullshit with Julie; I had to pay that whore.’”
It’s also reported that once, during a company get-together at a bar, Glassman stood next to Kelly and a friend of his and said, “Do you think we could teach this bitch to give a good handjob?”
Glassman agreed to a settlement with Kelly in 2012, but the company didn’t even have a human resources manager from 2000 through until 2013, meaning employees couldn’t report sexual harassment until that time.
In addition, employees were told to be flattered if Glassman wanted to “fuck” them, and he routinely made remarks like “I wouldn’t fuck her if she spread her legs for me right here”.
Former employees also say the use of words like ‘whore’ and ‘pussy’ was commonplace when talking about women in the CrossFit community.
In response to the New York Times report, and through a company spokesman and spokeswoman, Glassman denied such conduct, with the spokeswoman saying people are speaking out against Glassman in order to lessen the worth of his company before buying it from him.
You can read the New York Times article in full here.
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