Beware CrossFit’s Publicity Waiver: Especially for Kids

If you have a kid that you think will ever participate in a CrossFit event, you need to read this:

I’ve just signed the nipper up for another charity Teen Gauntlet event, but as last time, I’m very unhappy with the publicity release. I raised this issue back in May and am disappointed that they haven’t decided to make any changes for kids.

In case you (like most of the population) find a 427 word sentence difficult to read, the first sentence of the safety release basically says: CrossFit can use your kid’s photos, images, likeness, voice, and *personal data* (and much more) even using a fake name with your kid’s face. This is for any purpose, including merchandise, marketing and sales.

They can do this not just in your country, or the US, but anywhere in the Universe. Yes it does really say: “throughout the universe”. They don’t have to ask your consent, or even tell you they’re doing it.

You give them this right, on behalf of your child, irrevocably (once signed, you can never change your mind), for life, in fact beyond your life and your kids life; it’s a “perpetual” right.

And of course you give up any rights to any compensation. See here if you want to read the source (brace yourself for extreme legalese!)

The question is then, are you happy that your kid’s face or name being used on CrossFit t-shirts, mugs, skipping ropes etc, or on posters or TV adverts even, in any country, with any of their personal data attached, at any time during their life, without your or their knowledge or say so?

What if your kid grows up to be a rock star, or politician, or sportsman/woman, or renown business person, and CrossFit own complete rights to, well, everything about them? This could destroy their political career, or prevent them getting a lucrative job, or stop them getting a sponsorship deal. If you were Nike, would you sponsor an athlete that some other company had complete rights to?

Imagine if Tiger Woods’ Dad had signed such a document when he was 12 years old and CrossFit had “perpetual and unrestricted rights” across the “universe” to his image, to be used “with and without my knowledge” for commercial exploitation including “marketing, goods, products, services, courses and seminars”? Do you think he’d have got hardly any of the sponsorship deals that he has?

I believe all criticism should be constructive, so here’s a simple solution: if they would just limit the publicity release to apply for 12 months from the date of the event, then that would be completely reasonable, but as it stands, when it comes to kids taking part in CrossFit events, this publicity release is unjust, unethical and just plain wrong.

The purpose of this post is to raise awareness of the issue, in the hope that if more people bring it up, a new publicity release for minors (say those under 21), will be brought in for CrossFit events.

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