In reaction to the unrest in the U.S. over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a group of black employees working for Adidas in the U.S. recently addressed a 32-page document, titled “Our State of Emergency,” to the company’s executives. According to SGB Media, it demanded that blacks and Latinos make up 31 percent of the staff throughout the company by the end of 2021, that the company donate $50 million a year to black communities in the U.S. and that it otherwise help raise money for nonprofits serving those communities. Certain employees also pointed out to the Wall Street Journal that no one on Adidas’ executive team or board of directors is black.
Adidas’ North American headquarters in turn announced that the company will “immediately” be making three investments. First, it will be boosting to $20 million dollars, disbursed over the next four years, its funding for programs that “support, empower and elevate the Black community” in the U.S. These include the Adidas Legacy community basketball platform, the Adidas School for Experiential Education in Design for footwear and the Honoring Black Excellence initiative for sports. Second, it will be funding 50 university scholarships per year for five years at “partner schools” for its black employees. Third, it will begin hiring until at least 30 percent of all new positions in the U.S. at Adidas and Reebok are filled with “Black or Latino” people.