We have felt the need to share our support for members, friends, and family by responding strongly in support of protests expressing outrage at the murder of George Floyd. We have also felt the need to express our support for members, friends, and family in law enforcement risking their lives to protect lives and property from opportunists seeking to hijack meaningful protest to serve their own unlawful purposes.
At the same time we have been witnessing the court of public opinion condemning those who speak out about either as if they were mutually exclusive. On social media, it seems that there has been as much movement and intent towards creating divisiveness, anger, and judgement as there has been towards creating unity, dialog, and understanding.
The past few days have caused Laura and I to reflect deeply on our core values and of those of Flower City CrossFit.
We want all of you to know that we believe strongly in the fundamental goodness of the people of our community, and indeed of the vast majority of people everywhere. It has become too easy (to the point of almost being mandatory) to lump people together into “us” and “them”. “They” are bad. “We” are good. “We” are right. “They” are wrong. All of this moves us further and further away from meaningful dialog, understanding, and progress.
In a world where most people are good, as we believe they are, there is no place for broad-brush hatred based on race, gender, creed, sexual orientation, or ideology. Hatred is evil. Racism is evil. Xenophobia is evil. Discrimination is evil. We believe these evils must be confronted and they can only be confronted by bringing them to light. But in our zeal to expose these evils, it is important to keep in mind that these are not “We” and “They” problems to be solved by people on one side of the fence or the other. They are “Us” problems. Only through unity, dialog, and understanding can they be conquered. We believe it is critical to work in every way we can to bring people together.
Laura and I have strived to create an environment and community at FCCF that reflects our personal values. An environment that is welcoming and supportive of all. An environment that brings people together through fitness, but more importantly brings people together so that they may experience a community where acceptance is the norm.
Both Laura and I support individuals and causes that actively and inclusively promote anti-racism, equality, and justice. We are very open to ideas to further promote this at FCCF. We encourage you to reach out to us with ideas and suggestions.
Tomorrow we will be doing a WOD in honor of George Floyd. This has been a controversial thing for many people and many CrossFit gyms. Objectively, George Floyd was not a saint or “hero” in the sense of most CrossFit “hero” WODs. Honestly, I don’t know too many people who are saints. What is important is that George Floyd was a human being. A human being that regardless of his character did not deserve to be murdered. We do the George Floyd WOD tomorrow to acknowledge that he is not alone in the way he was treated. That many, many more people of color are discriminated against, hated, injured, arrested, and even killed simply because of the color of their skin. We do the WOD tomorrow to hopefully shine a little light on the evil that brought about his death. And maybe as a stepping stone to solidify our own resolve to do whatever we can to forge a path forward where evils like racism can find no more dark space to live. We do the WOD tomorrow because Black Lives Matter.
Finally, we are aware that the CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, has recently made some irresponsible, immature, and reprehensible comments on social media. His comments do not in any way reflect on what Laura or I stand for or believe. We also do not believe that his comments reflect the beliefs or values of so many people that work at CrossFit HQ, many of whom Laura knows and has worked with for years in conjunction with the CrossFit Games.
Please reach out to us with any questions.
Jeff & Laura
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.