Jim Cummins, founder and director of Dirty Kanza, has been fired after making an offensive comment on social media.
In a statement Saturday night, Dirty Kanza owners Life Time Fitness confirmed it had “parted ways” with Cummins. Cummins had recently posted on a personal social media account describing the shooting of Rayshard Brooks by an Atlanta police officer as “justified.”
“Following a review of the post made by the founder of Dirty Kanza, we found it to be inappropriate and insensitive, and we stand against it as an organization,” stated Life Time. “As an outcome of our investigation, we have parted ways with this individual.”
Life Time’s statement regarding the status of Jim Cummins.
We commit to continuing to learn, listen & grow toward making our sport a more inclusive place where all feel welcome and represented. We have an opportunity to do better and be better, and we plan on doing just that. pic.twitter.com/wXMQUHeDcU
— Dirty Kanza 200 (@DirtyKanza200) June 21, 2020
The shooting of Rayshard Brooks comes amid growing concern and social action over the use of force in U.S. policing. Recent weeks have seen a wave of global protests and a number of cycling’s stakeholders look to actively address racism in the sport and show support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dirty Kanza had recently hit the news after cries that the event’s name was a racial epithet impacting the indigenous Kaw Nation. Cummins and representatives of the Kaw Nation had responded to the allegations in an open letter, saying “Life Time and the Kaw Nation are proud of our relationship, which is built upon mutual respect, dignity, and integrity.”
Cummins founded Dirty Kanza in 2006, and has been running the event alongside LeLan Dains and Kristi Mohn since then. Life Time Fitness purchased Dirty Kanza Productions in 2018. The Minnesota-based business owns a national chain of workout facilities as well as the Colorado Leadville Trail 100 series and a number of marathon and triathlon events.