Despite outcries over sports teams that shame Native Americans with racist names and stereotypical mascots, like the NFL team in Washington, many of these sports organizations continue to cling onto their offensive imagery. There are also more than 2,100 high schools that still have Native American mascots.
One company is standing up to the intolerance, to ensure that students in schools no longer have to deal with hateful mascots.
Sports clothing brand company Adidas just made an incredible promise at the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Thursday. They pledged to provide free design resources and financial support to high schools in the U.S. that finally decide to cease their Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery or symbolism.
"Today's announcement is a great way for us to offer up our resources to schools that want to do what's right — to administrators, teachers, students and athletes who want to make a difference in their lives and in their world," Eric Liedtke, Adidas' head of global brands, said in a statement to The Associated Press. "Our intention is to help break down any barriers to change -- change that can lead to a more respectful and inclusive environment for all American athletes."
As part of the pledge, Adidas will design new logos for all schools that drop their Native American mascots.
"High school social identities are central to the lives of young athletes, so it's important to create a climate that feels open to everyone who wants to compete," Adidas president Mark King said to ESPN. "But the issue is much bigger. These social identities affect the whole student body and, really, entire communities."