Crossfit to allow trans athletes to compete in annual tournament
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CrossFit announced that it has reversed a policy barring transgender athletes from competing in its annual national tournament, the CrossFit Games, starting next year.

“This is the right thing to do,” Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, said in a statement published by BuzzFeed News on Monday. “CrossFit believes in the potential, capacity, and dignity of every athlete. We are proud of our LGBT community, including our transgender athletes, and we want you here with us.”

More than 415,000 people from across the globe participated in the company’s CrossFit Games this year.

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Will Lanier, executive director of the Out Foundation, which has been consulting with CrossFit, told BuzzFeed the fitness brand is still finalizing guidelines for its official rulebook for 2019 but said it has looked at adopting some of the rules for trans athletes carried out by the Olympics, which first allowed trans athletes to compete in 2004.

CrossFit has long received backlash from the LGBTQ community over its old policy for the CrossFit Games, which has aimed since 2007 to determine the “fittest on Earth" and required athletes to enter divisions that matched the gender they were assigned at birth.

CrossFit drew even more backlash from the LGBTQ community earlier this year after it was revealed executive Russell Berger tweeted that celebrating LGBTQ pride is "a sin.”

Berger, who previously worked at the company as a legal researcher, made the remark while tweeting out his support for a CrossFit gym's decision to cancel a workout in honor of Pride Month.

He was initially placed on paid leave shortly after the tweet came to light but was eventually fired.

At the time, Glassman told news organizations that Russell's views are "appalling." 

“He needs to take a big dose of ‘shut the f--- up' and hide out for awhile. It’s sad,” Glassman said. “We do so much good work with such pure hearts — to have some zealot in his off-time do something this stupid, we’re all upset. The whole company is upset. This changes his standing with us. What that looks like, I don’t know. It’s so unfortunate.”