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CrossFit’s recent controversy proves its community is *not* down with LGBTQ hate


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Photo: Stocksy/Jovo Jovanovic

Pride Month is officially in full swing, with rainbow flags flying loud and proud across the country and entire globe. Unfortunately though, that’s not the case at Indianapolis CrossFit affiliate gym CrossFit Infiltrate: The outpost is receiving tremendous backlash for canceling a special workout that supported Indy Pride.

According to Fox59, members received an email from management about the cancelation, which cited the reason for the closure as follows: “The owners of the gym value health and wellness, and they believe that this event does not.” As a result, multiple members severed ties the gym, and all the coaches quit, which could ultimately lead the facility to shut its doors for good.

But there’s more: Upon hearing the news, Russell Berger—who, at the time, worked for CrossFit as a legal researcher (or, as he states on his Twitter profile, “chief knowledge officer”)—posted a series of now-deleted tweets upholding CrossFit Infiltrate’s blatant discrimination and spreading his own.

“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,” he wrote. “The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”

After CrossFit was made aware of what Berger was tweeting, the company issued its own statement on the social media site, quoting CEO Greg Glassman as saying he’s “crazy proud of the gay community in CrossFit. And, as of yesterday—after putting Berger on immediate unpaid leave while management completed a review—Berger’s employment with the company has been officially terminated.

“The statements made today by Russell Berger do not reflect the views of CrossFit Inc. For this reason, his employment with CrossFit has been terminated,” the company announced via Twitter. “CrossFit is a diverse community in every way, and that’s what makes us strong. No matter who you are, how you’re built, what you believe, or who or how you love—we are proud of you.”

Though this series of events is particularly disturbing, it just goes to show that handful of people can’t bring down an entire community. Better luck next time, haters.

Here are nine healthy ways to support Pride Month. Or, find out how Adam Rippon’s Dancing With the Stars win is a major victory toward inclusivity.

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