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CrossFit Games’ controversial decision to award Glock handguns as prize

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The decision to award winners of this month’s CrossFit Games with a gun has resulted in backlash from the event’s title sponsor, Reebok, and from an online petition that has gathered thousands of signatures.

Dave Castro, the director of the CrossFit Games, announced on Wednesday that top men’s, women’s and each member of the wining team would receive a Glock handgun. Outrage began building soon after Castro made the announcement on Facebook, including many from within the CrossFit community that see the prize as an endorsement of gun violence.

“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,” Reebok said in a statement provided to USA TODAY Sports.

A petition on Change.org asking the CrossFit Games to cancel the handgun prize had gathered more than 17,000 signatures as of 6 p.m. ET last week.

“CrossFit Inc would not form partnerships with fast food restaurants, alcohol companies, cigarette, or pharmaceutical companies on the same basis,” said Australian Daniel Bartels, who started the petition.

“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,” continued Bartels.

Glock guns will be offered as prizes in the Clean Rope Climb at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. (Twitter)
Glock guns will be offered as prizes in the Clean Rope Climb at the 2016 Reebok CrossFit Games. (Twitter)

The director of next week’s Southern California CrossFit Games is standing strong amid criticism, maintaining that prizes will include Glock handguns.

The director, Dave Castro, said Glock “offered the weapons as prizes and he gladly accepted.” He posted a photo of the Glock that will be given for the Clean Rope Climb on Twitter.

“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,” Castro said.

“As long as guns are legal in the U.S. based off of our constitutional right, nothing is changing.”

Source: USA Today and Breitbart.com