Today I’m talking to Syn Martinez, who owns and operates the fitness and lifestyle clothing brand Afro Brutality. Syn also owned and coached at CrossFit Harlem from 2009 to 2014. I’ve known Syn for around seven years, and he’s always been very transparent and outspoken in his views. In this conversation — recorded just a day before it was announced Glassman would be stepping down as CrossFit CEO — we cover some topics and perspectives that may be controversial in the fitness space. It’s also worth noting the podcast does include language that could make some uncomfortable.
Our conversation revolves around the controversy surrounding Greg Glassman and CrossFit HQs stance — or in some cases, silence — on race relations and inclusivity. Syn was an early adopter of CrossFit methodology on the East Coast, and he also built relationships with Glassman and his team over the years, including some possible initiatives to expand CrossFit’s reach within the Black community. Syn gives his perspective on the opportunities that could have been and what he thinks fell through along the way.