Dirty Kanza founder fired for saying police shootout of Rayshard Brooks was ‘justified’
The founder of Dirty KanzaJim Cummins was sacked by the organizers of the popular gravel race for a social media post in which he said the murder of a black man by police in Atlanta this week was “justified.”
Cummins, who created Dirty Kanza in 2006, was dismissed as Chief Gravel Officer by Life Time, the company that now runs the event, on Saturday night.
He had posted on Facebook to talk about the murder of Rayshard Brooks, who was shot as police tried to arrest him on Friday. Brooks’ death came at a time when the repeated killings of African Americans by police had led to anti-racism protests across America and the world.
Cummins, whose Facebook account has now been deleted, reposted a video of the attempted arrest two years ago of Daniel Clary, who shot two police officers and escaped. Cummins added the following message: “Watch this ENTIRE video. Then, if you still believe that the cop who shot Rayshard Brooks, after he stole the officer’s taser and then used it against him, was not justified shooting Mr. Brooks … then a friend me now. “
Life Time, which also manages the Big Sugar and Crusher in the Tushar Gravel Events, released a statement later on Saturday.
“Upon review of the post written by the founder of Dirty Kanza, we found it inappropriate and insensitive, and we oppose it as an organization. Upon completion of our investigation, we separated from this person “, he mentioned.
“One of our core principles is to provide safe, trusting and respectful environments for all of our members, clients and team members, while rejecting all actions of prejudice or injustice towards others.
“We will continue to take all matters like this with the same level of seriousness by conducting thorough reviews and taking action whenever we believe our business principles have been violated.”
Cummins had recently faced accusations that Dirty Kanza’s name was itself racist. Kanza may refer to the Kaw Nation, a Native American tribe, and the name of the event has therefore been read as an insult by those who have called for its change. In April, Cummins co-signed an open letter from Race and Kaw Nation President Lynn Williams in which the two said they were “proud to stand side by side.”