As the use of Native American mascots in sports continues to be controversial, Adidas announced it will provide free design help to any U.S. high school that wants to get rid of a Native American mascot or logo. The announcement was made as part of the White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C. Adidas also committed to providing financial assistance to schools in order to minimize costs and said it will be a founding member of a group that works to address Native American imagery in sports. “Importantly, sports must be inclusive,” said Eric Liedtke, Adidas Group executive board member, in a news release. “Today we are harnessing the influence of sports in our culture to lead change for our communities.” Adidas estimates roughly 2,000 of the more than 27,000 U.S. high schools have names or mascots offensive to tribal communities. The group Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry will host an event at Adidas to thank the company for its effort. “We thank Adidas because Native people are so often overlooked and the issue of miscoding of Native people is a prime example of this,” the organization said, in a statement.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.