And some people are not pleased
The CrossFit Games—an annual competition that has some of the most athletic people in the world competing to claim the Fittest (Wo)Man on Earth" title—begin on July 19th. But this year, there's quite a bit of controversy surrounding the top prize. No, it's not the cash—winning $2.2 million is quite nice, we're sure—it's the "bonus" prize. (Games have you inspired to check out CrossFit? Here's What to Expect from Your First CrossFit Workout.)
Glock, a partner of the Games, is providing the top finishers (top male, female, and every member of the winning team) with a Glock pistol worth $500, according to a post shared by director Dave Castro on the official CrossFit Games Facebook page. Given the current controversy surrounding gun violence and gun control laws, the prize has some people, well, up in arms.
Some CrossFit fans have started a Change.org petition asking the organizers of the Games to remove the gun from the prize winnings. "This doesn't represent our community in any way, shape or form," the petition reads. "Irrespective of anyone's right to bear arms in the U.S., branding the value of our community to be about awarding weapons as gifts and rewards is not what our community stands for."
"CrossFit Inc. would not form partnerships with fast food restaurants, alcohol companies, cigarette or pharmaceutical companies on the same basis," the petition continues. "But a gun manufacturer is deemed as a good partner...this is not us."
The petition has amassed more than 20,000 signatures since it was launched, with a goal of getting 25,000 before it will be presented to Castro and other organizers of the Games.
Reebok, the title sponsor of the Games, has also voiced its discontent with the prize.
"As the title sponsor of the Games, we unfortunately do not have input regarding other partners or promotions," Reebok said in a statement. "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."
Awarding the firearm does comply with state and federal gun laws, though, and Castro told USA Today in an email, "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."