FORT STEWART, Ga. — The Pentagon has ordered Maj. Gen. James E. Rainey, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, to cancel next month's planned “Spartan Race” after Hellenic activists raised concerns over “cultural appropriation.”
According to Panhellenic Unity spokesman Yanni Caramanis, the event's name was taken from a culture that “had suffered oppression at the hands of other Greek city states, as well as the Persians, following their defeat at the Battle of Leuctra on July 6, 371 BC.”
“Lest we forget,” Caramanis added.
According to organizers and sponsors, the Spartan Race consists of obstacles including climbing walls, sprints, mud pits, and so on.
“Simply put, it is the world's leading obstacle race series,” according to Reebok, the race's primary sponsor. “[It is] an event of pure primitive craziness that you'll never forget,” while “doing shit that you can do for absolutely free at any military base in the United States.”
Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook says DoD agrees with the Panhellenic Unity objections.
“The Spartans were definitely not crazy, not primitive and most definitely weren’t into running obstacles,” Cook said. “They were incredibly well-meaning people who were only doing what they thought was right.”
In Georgia, Rainey said he was unhappy about the decision, but has come to accept it.
“This Spartan Race was going to be a great team building event but I understand political correctness and I want to be a part of the team,” Rainey said. “I wrote on the Pentagon's Facebook wall, ‘That’s definitely disappointing news, is there someone I can speak to about this?’ but no one ever replied.”
“It did get 23 likes, though, and one of those ‘surprised’ faces that I'm never sure what those mean.”
At least some soldiers are relieved.
“Are you serious? That’s great fucking news,” said Pfc. Jordan Clark, who had been scheduled to work the Spartan Race on a Saturday.
Clark says he had previously planned on going drinking with other soldiers in his platoon
“Now I can still getting fucked up that Saturday and probably get married on Monday,” he said.
At press time, organizers were facing opposition from military wives over the prospect of changing the race to a "Tough Mudder."