adidas has issued a statement following last week’s internal protest due to the company’s complacency on racism. Along with the message, the sportswear brand has vowed to immediately implement three steps of action, including a $20 million investment in Black communities, university scholarships for Black employees, and the hiring of more Black employees.
“The events of the past two weeks have caused all of us to reflect on what we can do to confront the cultural and systemic forces that sustain racism. We have had to look inward to ourselves as individuals and our organization and reflect on systems that disadvantage and silence Black individuals and communities”, said adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted. “While we have talked about the importance of inclusion, we must do more to create an environment in which all of our employees feel safe, heard and have equal opportunity to advance their careers. As adidas, we will create a lasting change and we will do it now.”
adidas’ investment in Black communities includes $20 million in the United States over four years. The money will go to initiatives such as adidas Legacy, a basketball platform for underserved communities; the adidas School for Experiential Education in Design; and Honoring Black Excellence, a program honoring and supporting the Black community through sport.
Over the next five years, adidas will finance 50 scholarships each year for Black students at partner schools. The company has also promised to increase the number of Black employees. According to the memo, 30 percent of new positions at adidas and Reebok in the US will be filled with Black and Latinx individuals.
“We recognize the immense contribution of the Black community to our success and that of others. We promise to improve our company culture to ensure equity, diversity and opportunity. We understand that the fight against racism is one that must be fought continually and actively. We must and will do better,” the company concluded.