Outrage is building over a petition calling for the immediate resignation of the white CEO of New York Road Runners, the non-profit responsible for organizing the city’s marathon, in a bid to dismantle alleged 'institutional racism and oppression’.
Critics of the charge are calling the claims against NYRR’s Michael Capiraso ‘baseless’, with some insisting the petition ‘reeks of just piling on the BLM and #metoo movements without a stitch of supporting evidence.’
The appeal’s emergence comes just weeks after NYRR announced it would be laying off around 11 percent of its workforce and furloughing another 28 percent of staff, citing financial hardships brought by the on-going coronavirus pandemic.
The author of the petition was reportedly initially listed as Michael Schnall, who, according to LinkedIn, is the Vice President of Government Relations and Community Investment at NYRR. His name previously appeared as the author when sharing the post.
It’s unclear whether Schnall was among the 93 staff members either made redundant or furloughed. His listed work email address was unable to receive messages as of Friday. He has not yet returned a DailyMail.com request for comment.
Critics of the charge are calling the claims against NYRR’s Michael Capiraso (above) ‘baseless’, with some insisting the petition ‘reeks of just piling on the BLM and #metoo movements without a stitch of supporting evidence.’
The appeal’s emergence comes just weeks after NYRR announced it would be laying off around 11 percent of its workforce and furloughing another 28 percent of staff, because of hardships brought by the on-going coronavirus pandemic
The petition was posted to Change.org last week on behalf of the group Rebuild NYRR, a coalition of current and past employees who say they’re ‘calling for the immediate resignation of Michael Capiraso, President and CEO of NYRR.’
‘We are also calling for the Board to commit to the implementation of policies that will level the playing field for all employees, especially those representing marginalized communities,’ the petition says.
According to Rebuild NYRR, employees have, ‘for years’, reported experiencing racism, bias and bullying that ‘goes unchecked’.
‘We want to create a healthy, equitable, and safe environment for ourselves and for our community,’ the group says.
‘We have been pushing for fairness and cultural competency for years only to have it fall on deaf ears. So today, we are turning to the public, our board of directors, the running community, supporters and allies to ask for your support’.
The petition then outlines 10 demands for the New York Road Runner’s board of directors.
Top of the group’s agenda is securing the resignation Capiraso, claiming the he ‘fosters toxic, discriminatory, and systemically racist work culture at NYRR.’
The group also called for an independent pay equity audit to address gaps in compensation based around gender and race; to restructure the company’s human resource department to foster ‘an anti-racist and anti-discriminatory workplace’; and for a new, external, president and CEO to be selected by a diverse search committee.
The author of the petition was initially listed as Michael Schnall, who, according to LinkedIn, is the Vice President of Government Relations and Community Investment at NYRR. His name appeared as the author when attempting to share the drive
Top of the group’s agenda is securing the resignation Capiraso, claiming the he ‘fosters toxic, discriminatory, and systemically racist work culture at NYRR'
Signers of the petition also detailed various alleged instances describing a toxic work culture or racial discrimination
In an interview with Medium, one anonymous employee accused Capiraso of cultivating a reactionary culture that features a lack of transparency where employees fear retaliation if they come forward with any negative experiences.
Citing the growth of the New York City Marathon, the world’s largest race of its kind, the employee said NYRR has since lost sight of its original mission statement.
‘Capiraso has the growth and revenue numbers from the world’s largest marathon in his back pocket and uses that as a shield against accountability,’ the employee told Medium’s Justin Horneker.
Other employees told the website that the layoffs and furloughs, announced towards the end of July, disproportionately affected the organization’s minority employees. White contractors were allegedly then brought in to replace them.
Capiraso, meanwhile, was said to have earned a salary of $479,195 last year – $350,000 more than the typical salary of a non-profit CEO, which comes in at an average of $103,345. He did take a 20 percent pay cut in response to the pandemic, but employees say that’s not enough.
While the petition itself falls short of detailing specific instances to back up its claims of institutional racism at NYRR, the Rebuild NYRR group has set up an Instagram page where members can anonymously share their alleged experiences.
‘Black employees endure ridicule for their natural hair texture in the office,’ one anonymous post claimed. ‘One high level