From Kanye West to Tyshawn Jones, the examples of Black artists and athletes being front and center in adidas’ marketing campaigns are too numerous to name. Unfortunately, this diversity is not reflected internally at the footwear giant. The problem is so bad that Black employees presented a 32-page deck outlining issues to their German leadership in the wake of the George Floyd murder. There were also walkouts and protests at adidas’ Portland campus; all of which is outlined in an article published by The New York Times yesterday.
adidas released a statement via social media last night addressing its plan to correct the situation. It includes a commitment to hiring 30% Black and Latinx employees moving forward, a $120 million commitment to grassroots campaigns addressing racial disparities, and a Zero Tolerance Policy for racism discovered within the company—The Times article mentions that two employees reported being called a racial slur by coworkers.
This whole debacle adds more weight to the statement released by Na-Kel Smith last week about his experiences working with brands. View adidas full plan to fix the situation below.