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Adidas offers to help high schools eliminate Native American mascots

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http://www.timescolonist.com/adidas-offers-to-help-schools-transition-away-from-native-american-mascots-with-logo-redesign-1.2104451

Adidas is offering to help high schools nationwide drop Native American mascots.

The athletic shoe and apparel maker said Thursday it will provide free design resources to schools looking to shelve Native American mascots, nicknames, imagery or symbolism. The German company also pledged to provide financial support to ensure the cost of changing is not prohibitive.

Adidas announced the initiative in conjunction with the White House Tribal Nations Conference on Thursday in Washington. Adidas executives were among those attending the conference, which includes leaders from the 567 federally recognized tribes.

The company, which has its North American headquarters in Portland, Oregon, also said it will be a founding member of a coalition that addresses Native American mascots in sports.

According to the group Change the Mascot, there are about 2,000 schools nationwide that have Native American mascots.

The advocacy group says about a dozen schools have dropped Native mascots over the past two years and another 20 are considering a change.

Eric Liedtke, Adidas head of global brands who travelled to conference, said sports must be inclusive.

"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," Liedtke 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."

The voluntary program would give schools access to the company's design team for logo redesign and uniform design across all sports. It seeks to be a collaborative effort with schools.

The use of such mascots has drawn increased attention and controversy in recent years. The NFL's Washington Redskins have resisted appeals by Native American and civil rights groups to change their name and mascot.

In 2005, the NCAA warned schools that they would face sanctions if they didn't change Native American logos or nicknames. Some colleges kept their nicknames by obtaining permission from tribes, including the Florida State Seminoles and the University of Utah Utes.

Some states have taken action at the high school level. Last month California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law that prohibits schools from using the term "Redskins."

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper recently ordered the creation of a commission to study the use of Native American mascots and come up with a list of recommendations for possible legislation

In Oregon, the state Board of Education in 2012 ordered high schools to ban such mascots or risk losing public funding. The schools have until 2017 to comply.

Change the Mascot's Jackie Pata, Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, and Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter applauded Adidas' move in a joint statement.

"We hope that a number of companies including FedEx, whose name adorns the Washington NFL team's stadium, will step forward and follow Adidas's lead," the statement said. "Adidas clearly understands that in 2015, businesses cannot sit on the sideline on this issue and that they must choose which side they are on. It is inspiring to see that Adidas has chosen to be on the side of inclusivity and mutual respect and has set an example for others to follow."

___

Adidas set up an email address for schools wishing to inquire about the service: mascotchange@adidas.com.

- See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/adidas-offers-to-help-schools-transition-away-from-native-american-mascots-with-logo-redesign-1.2104451#sthash.98mNu8Pu.dpuf

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That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

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There's a civil discussion in here somewhere. Let's hope we don't lose sight of that.

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That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

Nike is salivating waiting for that to happen.

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That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

Too bad that the REDSKINS play on Landover, MD, not Washington.

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That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

Too bad that the REDSKINS play on Landover, MD, not Washington.

:rolleyes:

The BILLS play in Orchard Park, NY, not Buffalo.

The COWBOYS play in Arlington, TX, not Dallas.

The GIANTS and JETS play in East Rutherford, NJ, not New York.

Your point is...?

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As much as it seems to be altruistic, I wonder how many schools will feel they can turn down adidas when faced with the prospect of re-ordering uniforms for some 10-25 sports depending on what they play. The idea of replacing that much equipment at zero cost is going to sound too good to pass up for some schools. Now if they allow discounts on replacement items as well then it will be an even bigger sell.

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I think I would rather have high schools with native american nicknames than high schools wearing Adidas.

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I wish that instead of just trying to eliminate Native American themes altogether, more effort would be put towards finding positive Native American themes to use. There's a lot of wonderful and interesting visuals, colors, styles, etc. that come along with Native American themes, and it'd be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Too often the question when something's wrong is "how do we not do this," when it should be "how do we do this right."

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What is wrong with something like the Braves, named after Native American warriors, which literally calls them brave...

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I wish that instead of just trying to eliminate Native American themes altogether, more effort would be put towards finding positive Native American themes to use. There's a lot of wonderful and interesting visuals, colors, styles, etc. that come along with Native American themes, and it'd be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Too often the question when something's wrong is "how do we not do this," when it should be "how do we do this right."

That'd be cool for schools on reservations or schools near reservations that are active in that community--at the first of the 3 high schools I went to, a Pechanga tribe member was my freshman football teammate, and it was so near that reservation that I'm sure he wasn't the only one at the school--but otherwise it's an egregious example of "let's name ourselves after something cool(-sounding)".

You're right though that this should hopefully open up a discussion over why we name schools after certain things, particularly in relation to Native Americans, as opposed to making this all look like a question of censorship vs. free speech.

That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

Too bad that the REDSKINS play on Landover, MD, not Washington.

Oh, and ignore the troll.

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I have no problem with adidas doing this, I'm just disappointed with the fact that they continuously create visually offensive uniforms.

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Adidas is simply using the guise of being the good guy to get their product in the high school level since a lot of teams just use Nike or Under Armor and their team builder sites. If these HS kids start to like tire treads and tin foil, they they would be accepted more in college. Just my .02.

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Seriously though,

I wish that instead of just trying to eliminate Native American themes altogether, more effort would be put towards finding positive Native American themes to use. There's a lot of wonderful and interesting visuals, colors, styles, etc. that come along with Native American themes, and it'd be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Too often the question when something's wrong is "how do we not do this," when it should be "how do we do this right."

Xist2inspire does make a good point.

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I wish that instead of just trying to eliminate Native American themes altogether, more effort would be put towards finding positive Native American themes to use. There's a lot of wonderful and interesting visuals, colors, styles, etc. that come along with Native American themes, and it'd be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Too often the question when something's wrong is "how do we not do this," when it should be "how do we do this right."

What is wrong with something like the Braves, named after Native American warriors, which literally calls them brave...

Agreed on both points. I can't speak for everyone but I don't see Braves being an offensive name, so long as it's done tastefully...and at this point, I'd put it as the top choice to which the Washington NFL franchise should be renamed to when the time comes, seeing as it comes across as another name for Warriors given that it was the original name of the team.

I wish that instead of just trying to eliminate Native American themes altogether, more effort would be put towards finding positive Native American themes to use. There's a lot of wonderful and interesting visuals, colors, styles, etc. that come along with Native American themes, and it'd be a shame to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Too often the question when something's wrong is "how do we not do this," when it should be "how do we do this right."

That'd be cool for schools on reservations or schools near reservations that are active in that community--at the first of the 3 high schools I went to, a Pechanga tribe member was my freshman football teammate, and it was so near that reservation that I'm sure he wasn't the only one at the school--but otherwise it's an egregious example of "let's name ourselves after something cool(-sounding)".

You're right though that this should hopefully open up a discussion over why we name schools after certain things, particularly in relation to Native Americans, as opposed to making this all look like a question of censorship vs. free speech.

That's fantastic news.

Maybe Nike will finally offer to help out that NFL franchise in Washington....

Too bad that the REDSKINS play on Landover, MD, not Washington.

Oh, and ignore the troll.

What SSOS said (bolded) sounds similar to a high school school from the region I grew up--the Cedar High Redmen (Cedar City, UT) sounds offensive at first (I personally wouldn't condone the use of the name), until you find out that the school regulary coordinates with a local Tribal Council about the name and uniforms, and can continue using the name so long as Native Americans are represented in a respectful manner. A local article covers it in a little further depth.

Adidas is simply using the guise of being the good guy to get their product in the high school level since a lot of teams just use Nike or Under Armor and their team builder sites. If these HS kids start to like tire treads and tin foil, they they would be accepted more in college. Just my .02.

That's what I was thinking too. Adidas started out and got big by offending people with their material, then offers to save face with the public and promote themselves at the same time...I guess that makes Adidas the Sarah Silverman of uniform manufacturers.

Sorry, had to be said.

Edited by DustDevil61

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Seems like a poor ploy from Adidas to seem like they care. Not impressed.

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With apologies to Reagan... the scariest words in sports marketing are "We're from Adidas, and we're here to help."

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