Singer-actor Nick Jonas has taken the fitness company CrossFit to task for a marketing tweet he and others considered a swipe at type 1 diabetics like himself.
Retweeting the offending post -- a red image of a Coca-Cola bottle next to the words "open diabetes" and captioned with "Make sure you pour some out for your dead homies," signed by CrossFit CEO Greg Glassman with the hashtag #Sugarkills -- Jonas, 22, wrote, "This is not cool. Please know and understand the difference between type one and type [two] diabetes before making ignorant comments. Sensitivity to all diseases, and proper education on the cause and day to day battle, is important."
Jonas was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 13. Diabetes is characterized by abnormally high blood-sugar levels due to a malfunctioning pancreas. While the specific cause of type 1 is unknown, genetics may be a risk factor. The specific cause of type 2 is also unknown, according to the Mayo Clinic, although excess weight and inactivity "seem to be contributing factors."
In a tweet directed at Jonas, CrossFit retorted, "Anyone can get T2 diabetes, even those with T1. Stop assuming we don't grasp the difference and help us raise awareness." The company added shortly afterward, "We would love to have @nickjonas support our fight against T2D; sadly his relationship with @CocaCola likely precludes that." Glassman then issued a statement to ABC News in which he referred to Coca-Cola as Jonas' "sponsor." Much of the remainder of the statement was "so aggressive, it was not suitable to print," the network said.
A Coca-Cola representative confirmed to ABC that Jonas is not a paid spokesman for the company. Jonas' representative also told the network that the singer has no connection with the soft-drink giant.