Demonstrators targeted the Crossfit Games in a protest that included a die-in. | DONNA ACETO
The decision by the founder of the annual Crossfit Games, held last month in California, that winners would be awarded a Glock handgun stirred outrage among advocates for gun control, leading to both a change.org petition that the decision be reversed and a July 23 demonstration outside the Midtown crossfit gym run by Reebok, the Games’ sponsor.
Three groups that earlier in the week had staged anti-gun demonstrations outside of Trump Tower — Gays Against Guns, formed in the wake of the June Orlando LGBT bar massacre, Queer Nation, and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence — marched on July 23 from the New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue to Reebok CrossFit Fifth Ave, between 37th and 38th Street.
“How stupid and insensitive can they be?” said Kevin Hertzog, Gays Against Guns’ founder. “We’re in the middle of a growing trend of deadly gun violence against both civilians and police and Crossfit is proudly giving away the high-capacity gun that was used to kill six people and injure 13 more, including Representative 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?”
A Glock was also used in Dylan Roof’s fatal shooting of nine people in an African-American church in Charleston last year and by Omar Mateen in the Orlando killings that claimed 49 lives.
More than 22,000 signed the change.org petition, but Crossfit Games founder Dave Castro declined demands that the gun give-away be canceled, saying that only a change in California or federal law would alter his plans.
Protesters also noted the role of the Games’ sponsor Reebok and broadcaster ESPN. | DONNA ACETO
City Public Advocate Letitia James joined the protesters. | DONNA ACETO