Global fitness group CrossFit has sacked one of its senior officials following a controversy over a series of homophobic tweets.
Russell Berger, who was CrossFit’s chief knowledge officer, tweeted his support after one of the gym’s branches cancelled a Pride event, saying that celebrating LGBTQ Pride was a ‘sin’.
The gym in question, CrossFit Infiltrate, is based in Indianapolis and was instructed by its local owner to cancel the LGBTQ Pride workout.
Gym executive encouraged LGBTQ discrimination
“As someone who personally believes celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInfiltrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout,” Berger wrote on Twitter.
“The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”
Berger was initially placed on unpaid leave, but later sacked following an investigation by the company he works for.
The Indianapolis CrossFit gym subsequently closed its doors following a huge backlash over the canceled pride-themed workout.
The fitness group has more than 13,000 affiliate gyms in over 120 countries worldwide. The Pride Month workout was just one of hundreds that were due to take place across the country this month.
CrossFit ceo ‘crazy proud’ of club’s gay community
CEO Greg Glassman issued a statement to BuzzFeed saying he did not stand by Berger’s views, which he called “appalling.”
“He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f— up’ and hide out for a while. It’s sad,” Glassman told the online newswire.
“We do so much good work with such pure hearts — to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset.”
Glassman also tweeted his support for the LGBTQ community, saying ‘I am crazy proud of the gay community in CrossFit.’
The CrossFit brand has developed a cult following and has more than 11,000 clubs globally. The firm generates around $4bn in revenue annually, according to Forbes.com.