Adidas has pledged to help U.S. high schools move away from Native American mascots, offering free logo design assistance and financial resources.
Approximately 2,000 U.S. schools currently use Native American mascots, which advocates say perpetuate racially offensive stereotypes. The Adidas announcement comes on the heels of Thursday’s White House Tribal Nations Conference.
Advocates have repeatedly slammed tribal imagery in sports, particularly over the name and logo of the Washington Redskins. The NFL team’s owner Dan Snyder has said that he will never change the team’s name, despite federal orders to cancel its trademark registrations and state-wide bans of the “Redskins” nickname. Adidas said it also plans to be a founding member in a coalition that aims to change Native American mascots across the nation’s sports landscape.
“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,” said advocacy group Change the Mascot leaders Ray Halbritter and Jackie Pata in a statement.