(Long Island, NY) Tomorrow at 11 am activists from New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Gays Against Guns and Queer Nation will mass on the steps of the New York Public Library (5th and 42nd), then march to the front of Reebok Crossfit NYC on 5th between 37th and 38th.
They will protest Crossfit Games founder Dave Castro’s announcement that winners of this year’s games will receive a Glock, a deadly handgun that has been used in several notorious massacres over the past decade.
Even though the Glock offer has sparked outrage from Crossfitters nationwide and a Change.org petition against the offer has nearly 25,000 signatures, Castro has not rescinded the offer and Crossfit Games sponsor Reebok and broadcaster ESPN have not threatened to cut ties with Crossfit, but merely said that the offer was not their idea.
“How stupid and insensitive can they be?” said Kevin Hertzog, co-founder of Gays Against Guns, a NYC-based activist group founded after the Orlando gay club massacre of June 12with chapters now forming in nearly a dozen cities. “We’re in the middle of a growing trend of gun violence against both civilians and police and Crossfit is proudly giving way the high-capacity gun that was used to kill six people and injure 13 more (including Rep. Gabby Giffords) in Tucson in 2011, to kill 77 people in Norway in 2011, to kill a string of immigrants in Sweden in 2009-10 and to kill 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007?”
Herzog added, “Saturday, we want to make sure that everyone going in or out of the big Reebok Crossfit knows they’re part of a group that is fetishizing an instrument of death. If Crossfit won’t #DropTheGlock, Reebok and ESPN should #DropCrossfit. How desperate are they that they would stay tied to a death promotion?”
Leah Gunn Barrett, NYAGV Executive Director, said, “I thought Crossfit was about fitness and health, not instruments of death. With 33,000 Americans killed and 84,000 maimed yearly from gun violence, does Dave Castro even have a conscience?”
“And we ask the same of Reebok CEO Matthew O’Toole and ESPN CEO John Skipper,” Barrett added.
Said Ann Northrop of Queer Nation, “From investors in gunmakers to the gunmakers themselves to their puppet groups like the NRA to the NRA’s own puppets in Congress, the US gun complex is a chain of death that is destroying America. Crossfit is glamorizing death tools that are tearing the fabric of this country apart and they must be publicly shamed.”
Activists will encourage passersby to hashtag social media #CrossfitDropTheGlock, #ReebokDropCrossfit and #ESPNDropCrossfit. They may also engage in legal actions that vividly evoke the carnage that Crossfit Games is promoting with this toxic giveaway.
Copy, photos and videos will be provided to media immediately after the action.
New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is a statewide organization working to reduce gun violence through advocacy and education designed to encourage action, influence public opinion and lead to policy change. With a primary focus on New York State, the organization also advocates at the local and national levels for sensible gun laws, policies and practices that protect New York State residents from gun violence.