A CrossFit gym in Indianapolis, Indiana, closed this week after it was accused of homophobia for canceling an Indy Pride event, reports IndyStar.com.
A notice was posted at the gym’s downtown location just a few days after a special workout planned to support Indy Pride Fest, an annual gay pride event in Indianapolis.
“CrossFit Infiltrate has determined that it will no longer operate business at this location,” the note on the door read. “We thank you for your patronage and support.”
The furor began after the Indy Pride workout at the gym was canceled just a few days after it was announced.
When a member of the gym, Dan Mendoza, inquired as to why it was canceled, he was told, “the directors and owners of Infiltrate value health and wellness and they believe that this event does not.”
Mendoza then went directly to the owner, Brandon Lowe, who emailed back: “We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility, not pride. Humility is seeing oneself as they truly are, and as God truly defines them to be. As a business we will choose to deploy our resources towards those efforts and causes that line up with our own values and beliefs,” he said in part.
Mendoza said the email “stunned” him and that he no longer felt welcome at the gym.
The Crossfit employee who set up the event said that “she tried to plead with Lowe to continue the event, but he wouldn’t permit it.”
The backlash hit Twitter and only worsened after CrossFit’s Chief Knowledge Officer, Russell Berger, publicly expressed his support for the decision to cancel the event. He has since been fired.
In a series of tweets that have now been deleted, Berger wrote pride is a sin and that the “intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”
Another tweet read, “the tactics of some in the LGBTQ movement toward dissent is an existential threat to the freedom of expression.”
Crossfit’s official Twitter account distanced the company from Berger’s tweets.
“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,” one CrossFit tweet said.
“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,” said another.
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.
— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 6, 2018