Adidas joins fight to end Native American nicknames

November 5, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
Adidas has announced a new initiative to help schools ditch their Native American nicknames.

Turf fieldThe company plans to offer free design resources for schools looking to drop their Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery or symbolism. Adidas made the announcement today in conjunction with the White House Tribal Nationals Conference.

Change the Mascot, an organization committed to eliminating the use of the word “Redskins,” applauded the move. Jackie Pata, executive director of the National Congress of American Indians, and Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter hoped others would follow suit.

“This is a tremendous display of corporate leadership by adidas,” Pata and Halbritter said in a joint statement. “We hope that a number of companies including FedEx, whose name adorns the Washington NFL team’s stadium, will step forward and follow adidas’s lead. Adidas clearly understands that in 2015, businesses cannot sit on the sideline on this issue and that they must choose which side they are on. It is inspiring to see that adidas has chosen to be on the side of inclusivity and mutual respect and has set an example for others to follow.

“This remarkable stand against racism by adidas illustrates that the issue of ending the use of the R-word is not going away, but is instead gaining momentum as people understand the damaging impacts of this racial slur.”

A number of high schools have dropped their Native American nicknames over the past few years, and just this year California passed a resolution banning such names at public schools.

High schools interested in making a change are asked to contact adidas directly through email.

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