“The top male athlete, the Top female athlete, and every member of the winning team will receive a @GlockInc pistol,” posted CrossFit Games Director Dave Castro this week to Instagram. Then came the hurt feelings.
Castro, a former Navy Seal, has been behind the grueling CrossFit Games, described as the “world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth” since 2007.
The social media post was bombarded with negative comments such as,” Disappointed to see this. I’m good with our 2nd Amendment Rights but disappointed that Crossfit’s great message of health and wellness has now been drowned out by promoting guns at a time when our country is reeling from so much gun violence. Seems like a totally off message partnership that harms the brand.”
Then came a Change.org petition calling for CrossFit to distance themselves from the event “as this is just not appropriate for the global community that call themselves Crossfitters.” So far, the petition has about 17,000 signers.
Castro for his part defended the action, telling Vice’s Broadly:
Since I am an avid shooter, I have friends at some of the major shooting companies. One of them said Glock would be interested in giving guns to the winners of the Games. I said absolutely. We have gifted guns at the Games before, this is not a first.
They are not a sponsor, they are not a partner, they are simply providing some legal pistols to the winning athletes.
One of the Game’s largest sponsors, Reebok, however, said “we do not agree with this decision, particularly in light of current events in the United States.”