An executive at popular US fitness brand CrossFit has been sacked for calling LGBTIQ pride a “sin”.
Russell Berger, chief knowledge officer and head trainer at the fitness company, sparked outrage with a series of tweets in response to a decision by an Indiana gym to cancel a special pride-themed workout session, the Guardian reported.
CrossFit Infiltrate, an affiliate of the fitness brand in Indiana, had earlier this week cancelled a pride-themed workout organised by coaches ahead of the annual Indy Pride event in the state this weekend.
“We believe that true health forever can only be found within humility, not pride,” the gym’s owners said in an email to members about the cancellation
“As a business we will choose to deploy our resources towards those efforts and causes that line up with our own values and beliefs.”
Berger supported the gym, tweeting, “As someone who personally believes celebrating ‘pride’ is a sin, I’d like to personally encourage #CrossFitInflitrate for standing by their convictions and refusing to host an @indypride workout.
“The intolerance of the LGBTQ ideology toward any alternative views is mind-blowing.
“The tactics of some in the LGBTQ movement toward dissent is an existential threat to freedom of expression.”
Berger explained to the Washington Post, “As a Christian, I believe everyone, myself included, is guilty of breaking our moral obligations to God and deserves punishment.
“I use the word ‘sin’ to describe pride events, and the sexual lifestyles associated with them, because that’s what God’s Word calls it, and I believe that God’s Word is true.”
After Berger’s now-deleted tweets began to spread on social media, CrossFit’s official Twitter account tweeted that the company was “crazy proud of the gay community in CrossFit.”
“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,” the company tweeted.
“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.”
it looks like crossfit execs are celebrating pride month a little differently than other corporations pic.twitter.com/k1HGPm8PRA
— real housecat (@tousleshommes) June 6, 2018
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
As an update, I’ve been officially terminated.
— Russell Berger (@BergerRussell) June 6, 2018