Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Monday morning

Brands and athletes cut ties with CrossFit; NYT editorial page editor James Bennet resigns.

Why brands and athletes are cutting ties with CrossFit. It all started Saturday night when founder and CEO Greg Glassman tweeted “It’s FLOYD-19” in response to a tweet about racism being a public health issue. This spurred Reebok to end its exclusive 10-year deal as the main CrossFit sponsor and licensee of CrossFit apparel; and also garnered criticism from CrossFit athletes Rich Froning, Tia-Clair Toomey and Noah Ohlsen. CrossFit tweeted an apology from Glassman late Sunday that stated the “CrossFit community will not stand for racism. I made a mistake by the words I chose yesterday.” 

NYT editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned following backlash for publishing Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark) op-ed that called for using military force against rioters. Katie Kingsbury will serve as the acting editorial page editor through the November election. In the Sunday statement, the paper’s publisher A.G. Sulzberger stated he is “grateful for [Bennet’s] many contributions.” Bennet added in the statement: “I’m so proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to focus attention on injustice and threats to freedom and to enrich debate about the right path forward by bringing new voices and ideas to Times readers.” Meanwhile, Stan Wischnowski, the top editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, also announced over the weekend that he would resign following criticism for publishing the headline “Buildings Matter, Too.”

Trump may issue a speech on race and national unity. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on State of the Union that President Donald Trump planned to further address George Floyd's killing and the tensions it exposed. "I believe you're going to be hearing from the president this week on this topic in some detail. And I would ask you maybe to reserve judgment until after that time," Carson said.

The George Floyd protests inspired Denny’s to make a video for its employees and franchisees. John Dillon, Denny’s chief brand officer and EVP, explained in a LinkedIn post that the company has “worked hard to overcome past issues dealing with discrimination and racism, including our own shameful moment in history in the early ‘90s.” The video was created last week to “speak from the heart” to staffers and outline the progress Denny’s has made and its plans moving forward. It features Brenda Lauderback, Denny’s board chair, CEO John Miller, and April Kelly-Drummond, the chain’s head of diversity, equality and inclusion.

In today’s Agency Business Report spotlight: Singer Associates Public Relations. Land-use entitlement is a growing area of work for the firm, said its president Sam Singer. Go here for the full Agency Business Report 2020

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