Shock. Horror. Not everyone in CrossFit is best friends. Oh, the humanity. Think of the children. The reaction to five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser saying that he and four-time champion Rich Froning have not spoken in over two years has been comical. So what? Froning has responded by admitting they are not best buds , as they do not have a great deal in common, but it is not an “excommunication” as Fraser suggested. There is not a lot that is strange about that. They are professional sportspeople at the top of their game. Their feats and achievements are incredible. That does not mean they are destined to have loads to talk about. It is not a personal attack if they do not have much in common personally. I do not expect to be best friends with my colleagues just because we are all journalists and live near each other. Some I go for beers with, some I don’t. None are my nemesis. In other sports, we do not expect the best players to be friends just because they are both talented. Imagine the lack of controversy in another sport if the stars were only passing acquaintances away from the game. Froning responds to Fraser’s ‘boldfaced lie’ What it shows is CrossFit’s emphasis on community. CrossFitters pride themselves on this, and showed they are willing to back up their words last year by ousting the former CEO for racist tweets . He did not live up to the inclusive community values, which are expected even of the owner. The reaction from CrossFitters was admirable. But extrapolating those standards and being shocked that not all the elites are best buds, Whatsapping each other “sleep well” each night, is a bit ludicrous. Fraser and Froning’s little tête-à-tête does not even constitute a sporting rivalry, as Fraser rose to power as Froning switched to team competitions. But it does show that CrossFit could benefit from a rivalry, or a villain. Interest in boxing waned, and then Floyd Mayweather gave fans someone to hate. MMA was a fringe sport, then Conor McGregor came in with his swagger, arrogantly calling all his competitors out and the popularity of the sport exploded. The scandal around two athletes not having a great deal in common illustrates the intrigue that could snowball if CrossFit had an athlete who was actually controversial, calling names and singling out competitors. Sport is about stories of human effort. There is nothing inherently more interesting about one sport or another, but some have better storylines about arrogant giants ripe for being cut down, or ancient rivalries like Celtic vs Rangers or Russia vs the USA. CrossFit’s Mat Fraser and Rich Froning not speaking Everyone needs to calm down a bit about Froning and Fraser’s lack of friendship. But in time, a real rivalry or villain could be just what CrossFit needs to take it into the mainstream.