Adidas is putting its money where its mouth is and pledging financial support to any high school that wants to get rid of offensive mascots and imagery.
The sports apparel giant teamed up with the White House Tribal Nations Conference to start an initiative to give high schools extra incentives to change team names and symbols that could be offensive to students, particularly those of Native American descent.
In a statement, Adidas President Mark King said,
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. But the issue is much bigger. These social identities affect the whole student body and, really, entire communities.
There are approximately 2,000 high schools in America with Native American mascots, according to advocacy group Change the Mascot.
As far as Adidas' own incentive to take on the project, the company's head of global brands, Eric Liedtke, said the goal is simply to spark social change.
He told the Associated Press,
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. 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.
Adidas will not only provide financial assistance to the schools that want to participate in the initiative, but it will also offer the services of its corporate design teams to help the schools create new logos and uniforms.