Sportswear brand Adidas has announced a new initiative to provide free design resources to high schools around the country looking to remove their current Native American mascots.
Sports can change lives. We’re honored to visit the @WhiteHouse Tribal Nations Conference today to support high school mascot name changes.— adidas (@adidas) November 5, 2015
The initiative has gained support from President Obama, but has unsurprisingly been slammed by the most resistant name change team in pro sports - the Washington Redskins, who released the following statement:
“The hypocrisy of changing names at the high school level of play and continuing to profit off of professional like-named teams is absurd,” team spokesman Maury Lane said in a statement. “Adidas make hundreds of millions of dollars selling uniforms to teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the Golden State Warriors, while profiting off sales of fan apparel for the Cleveland Indians, Florida State Seminoles, Atlanta Braves and many other like-named teams.”
Lane also suggested that Adidas “next targets” would be those professional teams, but spokesman Michael Ehrlich said the company wouldn’t pressure the franchises to change.
The Adidas initiative is great. Most schools around the country do not have the financial resources to change their mascot, team uniforms, redesign school gyms. Uniforms alone can cost thousands of dollars so it will be interesting to see how many schools take them up on their offer.