Is the prize at the 2016 CrossFit Games taking things too far?
13 January 2020 by Dan Fields
With the CrossFit Games currently underway Gold Standard Nutrition has been following one of the biggest controversies the sport has faced.
Much of the build up to this years CrossFit games was somewhat tainted by the controversial decision to award the winners of the 'fittest on earth' competition with not only a handsome purse of $2.2 million but also a Glock Handgun.
The Gun that saw Jared Lee Loughner shoot US Senator Gabrielle Giffords and kill six others in his Safeway Grocery Store shootings in 2011. Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people in the Virgina Tech massacre, also used a Glock. George Jo Hennard, who killed 23 people in the Luby's Cafe massacre in 1991, and Kevin Sweat, the man charged with shooting two young girls in Oklahoma in 2008 all used the same weapon.
For 365 days a year, the CrossFit elite have shed blood, sweat and tears to prove their worth and in an ideal world, we would be praising their efforts, applauding their dedication and building up the hype that would make the 2016 CrossFit games the best yet.
Instead we find ourselves on either side of an argument to a very controversial decision made by the man behind the games and gun owner: Dave Castro. Given the current political climate around the world, and gun crime in general Stateside, it comes as little surprise that a 17,000 strong petition was signed looking to overturn the decision.
The petition founder, Australian Daniel Bartels challenged the decision by saying: “CrossFit Inc would not form partnerships with fast food restaurants, alcohol companies, cigarette, or pharmaceutical companies on the same basis, but a gun manufacturer is deemed as a good partner. This is not us. CrossFit is for health, fitness and the well-being of people in all communities. This is not CrossFit. This should never be CrossFit.”
Furthermore CrossFit devotes such as Jaimie Horne proclaimed, "As a reward for fitness you can potentially shoot people? After the worst mass shootings in USA, I hardly feel bringing a community together via guns is in the spirit of Crossfit. Shameful"
The signature's even received the backing of the brand we all associate with CrossFit, the title bearer of the CrossFit games, Reebok announced: "As the title sponsor of the Games, we unfortunately do not have input regarding other partners or promotions. While we understand CrossFit's foundations are tied to military and first responders, we do not agree with this decision, particularly in light of current events in the United States.”
Despite the uproar and what we seem like a large does of common sense banging on the door of Castro and the decision makers at CrossFit, we still find ourselves on the eve of an amazing competition with a air of uncertainty and disappointment around what our champions will be presented with.
Castro, a former Navy Seal, was stated before the games got underway as saying: “Unless the state and federal laws regarding gun ownership in California and the U.S. change in the next week, then no, nothing is changing”
“There has also been tremendous support. If I were to make all of my decisions based off of backlash, everything I have done around the CrossFit Games would have been butchered, altered and changed multiple times over. As long as guns are legal in the U.S. based off of our constitutional right, nothing is changing.”
Perhaps even more bizarre is that while the prize complies with state and federal gun laws, the CrossFit games draw competitors from all over the world. If Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir repeats as the women’s champion, for example, she won’t be able to take the prize back to her native Iceland, which restricts the types of handguns that will be given away.
Given that guns are banned here in the UK, we want to know your thoughts on what has been the most talked about prize in sporting history. Comment below to have your say.