Editor’s Note: We are honored to present this message from CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO Greg Glassman.
Last March, Richard Beddie, president of the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs), stated in NZ Stuff News that “CrossFit has resulted in six deaths overseas and rendered an Australian man paraplegic.” This was false. CrossFit contacted Stuff and alerted its reporters. Stuff removed some of Beddie’s defamation.
Next, Beddie went on TV One, the New Zealand government’s TV network, and implied CrossFit trainers were responsible for female urinary incontinence.
After these two pieces ran, Beddie contacted CrossFit with a very straightforward business proposition. If we’d join his registry, he’d be willing to learn about CrossFit and would then work internationally to help us avoid some of the bad press we’d been getting. The price offered to CrossFit Inc. equated to US$300,000 a year in Mr. Beddie’s New Zealand, and $30 million annually for global protection. That’s $30 million a year to learn what we are doing and help us avoid bad press. That was the proposition. We declined participation.
After CrossFit rejected his offer, Beddie appeared in the press questioning if CrossFit trainers “meet standards that the industry has agreed on.”
Hypothetically, what are the requirements to meet the industry’s standards? The answer: each trainer would pay Mr. Beddie NZ$400 annually. In exchange, Mr. Beddie would put them in his register.
Fed up with Beddie’s defamation and unwilling to pay extortion money, CrossFit filed suit against Beddie and ICREPs.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) are partners with Mr. Beddie in ICREPs, through the U.S. Registry of Exercise Professionals (USREPS). These organizations have all engaged in long-term, systematic, regular, and collaborative fraud—fraud that is scientific, academic, and tortious—in their representatives’ collective statements, publications, press releases, and in a paid public-relations campaign against CrossFit. We’ve documented this effort publicly and have filed suit against the NSCA in a United States District Court. Much in the manner of Beddie, the NSCA altered a study to include injuries that never occurred and fed it to media including Outside Magazine, which dutifully asked “Is CrossFit Killing Us?” in its December 2013 issue. This came up as the top Google search return on CrossFit for months. For the record, the American ICREPs counterpart began its tortious assaults on CrossFit ahead of its president in New Zealand. For $30 million we can make this stop.
I think it warrants mentioning that ICREPs membership roster includes not a single organization teaching, training, studying, or knowledgeable in, functional movement. Oddly enough, they’re each resolutely committed to hyperinsulinemic fare. It’s impossible not to ask why that is.
CrossFit has presented a formidable challenge to a status quo that unfailingly and for decades produced record-breaking obesity and disease. CrossFit, an elegant and common-sense program of functional movement and a balanced diet, has had the single greatest positive impact on Americans’ health in modern times. We are spearheading a reformation of the fitness industry. As a conservative estimate, CrossFitters completed 300,000,000 workouts in 2014. CrossFitters have shed millions of pounds of body fat. In 2015 alone, CrossFitters will complete another 500,000,000 workouts. This will all take place absent the deaths and injuries publicly claimed by the ICREPs partners in the U.S. and abroad.
Beyond the obvious monetary opportunity to extort CrossFit and its affiliates for $30 million every year sits the threat we pose to a trillion-dollar industry entirely dependent on the near-universal avoidance of functional movement as exercise and the extinction of balanced meals from the American landscape. I won’t give you the names; just find the ACSM’s and the NSCA’s largest financial contributors.
It’s not out of fear that I don’t mention these giants and their threats to global health; it’s that you won’t believe it unless you find it for yourself. What could possibly be the well-organized big-dollar commitment to a diet that kills and exercise that does essentially nothing? Research for yourself and report back.
I don’t want to pay the $30 million. We could do it. A score of super-lucrative rent-seeking options could buy our protection, but over time the pressure would build until you mavericks, one at a time, quit with the meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds and got back on the damn machines where exercise supposedly belongs. Anyone interested in CrossFit-Gatorade?
I’m not budging, and I’ll commit our resources to the very last drop to fight for the right of the independent owner-operator to speak openly and honestly about human movement, and eating, without fear of repercussion regardless of whether you are flying the CrossFit flag or not. We have terrific positions in our cases in American and Kiwi courts. The Kiwis have a great reputation for abhorring fraud and corruption—especially in fitness and health. The work of your detractors has been clumsy: It’s as though these organizations are so besotted with soda-pop dollars that they never thought anyone would sue them for blatant tortious interference and business fraud.
But, in the end, only one thing matters, and it’s that we tell the truth—only and always—and commit the best that we can muster to protecting the well-being of all people. That’s what it means to me to lead this community.
– Greg Glassman, CrossFit Inc. Founder and CEO