adidas announced on Thursday that the company will offer “design resources” and financial support to any high school in the country that wants to change its logo or mascot “from potentially harmful Native American imagery or symbolism.”
“Sports have the power to change lives,” said Eric Liedtke, adidas Group executive board member in attendance at the White House Tribal Nations Conference. “Sports give young people limitless potential. Young athletes have hope, they have desire and they have a will to win. Importantly, sports must be inclusive. Today we are harnessing the influence of sports in our culture to lead change for our communities. adidas is proud to provide a pathway for high schools and communities who want to create new identities.”
Seems positive, right? Unless, of course, you're the NFL's Washington Redskins.
The team has resisted mounting pressure to change its offensive nickname in recent years, so it didn't come as much of a surprise that a Redskins spokesman fired back almost immediately upon receiving the adidas release.
“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, via The Washington Post. “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.”
It's worth noting that adidas sponsors Robert Griffin III, but signed him two months before he was drafted by the Redskins back in 2012.
This just feels like Washington being overly-aggressive in defending their position that the Redskins name isn't one that should ever be changed.
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