OAKLAND– Following the 2018 CrossFit Open season, many are calling for “leaderboard justice” in a system that has long been characterized by systemic oppression of the less-fit. Delia Warren, a fitness activist and community organizer, raised her concerns at a rally held over the weekend.
“Whiteboard privilege is a system of benefits for fit people, and a simultaneous denial of those benefits to people of lower levels of fitness,” Warren told the Overheard Press. “It is fundamentally a strategy of dividing the vast majority of CrossFit participants, preventing leaderboard justice, and denying us an inclusive, multi-fitness community.”
Warren has joined a growing, shrill monitory who are voicing their concerns about CrossFit’s oppressive system of scoring. In a blog article that went viral earlier this week, Zachary Glanton made a case that whiteboard privilege is still “the problem.”
“Athletes who qualify for the Games, or even Regionals, are given tremendous benefits that the rest of us never see,” Glanton explained. “T-shirts, supplements, sponsorships, you name it. Most of them can even drop-in at gyms around the country for free.”
Glanton says he’s not concerned with helping the less-fit attain these benefits, but would rather see those at the top stripped of them.
“We won’t see leaderboard justice until we take all their free t-shirts and supplements and give them back to those of us who can’t do double-unders, struggle to link pull-ups, and cramp on long runs.”
Warren agrees, adding that the problem is not so much with individuals as it is with the system that rewards those with fitness and punishes those who lack it.
“Athlete rights and dignity for all should be at the center of CrossFit. Instead, we have a system built on whiteboard supremacy, which justifies and maintains devastating disparity in the leaderboard, only benefitting the top 1%.”
Warren believes the problem won’t get better until those at the top recognize the part they play in perpetuating the oppressive CrossFit Games system.
“It’s really important for top CrossFit athletes to acknowledge the reality of their privilege. This will allow them to move out of whiteboard denial, whiteboard silence, whiteboard obliviousness, and into a mindset of leaderboard justice.”