Adidas Unveils Plan To Address Racism And Discrimination

by Christina Marfice
Adidas Commits To Filling 30% Of New Positions With Black Or Latinx People
picture alliance/Getty

Adidas wants to “own up to silence” and address racism within its own walls. Here’s how it plans to do that

Protests are still happening across the U.S. and around the world, demanding an end to systemic racism. Amid the growing call, company after company is announcing how it will address racism within its own institution. The latest of these is Adidas, which committed to hiring more Black and Latinx employees, hiring an outside agency to review their anti-racism progress, and donating more than a million dollars to Black neighborhood funds and other organizations.

“First, we need to give credit where it’s long overdue: The success of adidas would be nothing without Black athletes, Black artists, Black employees, and Black consumers. Period,” the brand wrote in a lengthy statement posted to its social media. “Remaining silent is not a neutral position when the people we should be standing with live in fear of police brutality due to systemic racism. With that in mind, it’s our people who we owe this to the most. Our Black coworkers have shown us through their words and actions what leadership looks like, and the changes adidas can make as a brand. They’ve led the response that we will continue to implement together.”

Across the next several slides, adidas outlined the changes the company is committing to, promising at the end of each list, “These actions are just the start.”

Adidas promises to overhaul its hiring process to eliminate bias, and pledges to fill 30 percent of its open positions with Black and Latinx hires. It also promises 50 percent of new open positions will be filled diversely (including by gender, sexual orientation, disability and veteran status).

Additionally, adidas said it is creating a new team to manage and oversee an increase in funding to grassroots programs that build up Black neighborhoods and address racial disparities. The company is pledging $120 million through 2025 to ensure that programs are sustainable, in addition to funds for 50 scholarships for Black students.

And finally, adidas announced a new zero-tolerance policy that will deliver accountability for racism or discrimination, as well as a third-party investigator to enforce the policy and hold the entire company accountable.

Adidas’ statement was in the middle of two slides that read simply, “Black Lives Matter.” They do. We know that. And it’s actions like these from companies this size that will help ensure that’s a message that continues to spread. Now the entire world will be watching to make sure these promises are put into action.