News & Opinion | June 7, 2018 9:12 am

CrossFit Fires Spokesman Who Publicly Called LGBT Pride a ‘Sin’

CEO blasted top employee before firing him: “He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f-ck up'."

CrossFit weightlifting on April 24, 2018 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. Winkens qualifyed for the Crossfit Regionals Europe, which will held on May 18,19 and 20, 2018 at Velodrom in Berlin. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
CrossFit weightlifting on April 24, 2018 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. Winkens qualifyed for the Crossfit Regionals Europe, which will held on May 18,19 and 20, 2018 at Velodrom in Berlin. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Bongarts/Getty Images

The sports-training company CrossFit fired a high-ranking employee after he publicly praised one of the company’s gyms in Indiana for cancelling a Pride-related workout, Buzzfeed News reports.

“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,” Russell Berger, who was the company’s chief knowledge officer, tweeted on Wednesday. “The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.”

The internal backlash was swift. Berger, who is also a pastor at an Orthodox Christian church in Huntsville, Alabama, was initially placed on an unpaid leave of absence by the company after his comments, which he has since deleted from his account.

“The tactics of some in the LGBTQ movement toward dissent is an existential threat to freedom of expression,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet, and replied to one user: “Thankfully I work for a company that tolerates disagreement. I have homosexual coworkers who I love and respect, and as far as I am aware, they aren’t demanding I be punished for my views.”

But by the end of the day, Berger was terminated. CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman had harsh words for Berger in an interview with Buzzfeed News.

“He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f-ck up’ and hide out for awhile. It’s sad,” Glassman said. “We do so much good work with such pure hearts—to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset.”