Jim Cummins, founder and director of Dirty Kanza, has been fired after making an offensive comment on social media about the fatal shooting of Rayshard Brooks by an Atlanta police officer. Velo News reports 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 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. As an outcome of our investigation, we have parted ways with this individual.”
Dirty Kanza (premier gravel bicycle race held annually in the Flint Hills region around Emporia, Kansas) had recently been under scrutiny after claims 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. 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 other endurance events.
Here’s an interview with Cummings talking about the origins of event: