June is Pride Month, and the calendar is full of events celebrating the LGBTQ community. Apart from the parades and parties, many businesses are getting into the spirit by hosting their own events, as well.
One such business was CrossFit Infiltrate in downtown Indianapolis, which had planned a special workout in support of Indy Pride — the organization that puts on the city’s Pride Festival. That is, until the event was suddenly cancelled by gym ownership.
Fox 59 reports that members received an email explaining the cancellation, which said “the owners of the gym value health and wellness, and they believe that this event does not.”
One member, Dan Mendoza, reached out for clarification and received the following response, according to Fox 59:
“Our underlying goal for the staff and members at CrossFit Infiltrate and our other gyms CrossFit White River and University Ave CrossFit, is total health and well-being for the individual and the community. Total health involves the body, the emotions, relationships, and the spirit. At the foundational detractor from health, as we believe God sets the parameters for, is pride. 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.”
After receiving that email, Mendoza and his partner decided to cancel their memberships at the gym. They were joined by other members, as well as staff and coaches who decided to quit.
A CrossFit official, Russell Berger, who tweeted his support for the cancellation and described celebrating pride as a sin, was quickly placed on unpaid administrative leave and later fired.
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.— CrossFit (@CrossFit) June 6, 2018
The Indianapolis Star reports that CrossFit Infiltrate has closed as a result of the controversy, and posted a sign on their front door that reads: "CrossFit Infiltrate has determined that it will no longer operate business at this location."