ADL Applauds Adidas for Offering to Assist Schools in Moving Away from Offensive Native American Nicknames and Mascots

New York, NY, November 6, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today applauded Adidas for launching a new initiative to assist schools willing to transition away from offensive Native American nicknames and mascots.

Adidas has reportedly offered schools financial and design resources that will help remove economic barriers for those seeking to create new mascots.

“A school’s history and tradition are not sufficient reasons to perpetuate an offensive stereotype, and we commend Adidas for showing how corporate America can lead the way in building a more respectful school environment,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO. “We hope other corporations will follow their lead.

“Adidas’ initiative is critically important, since even for those schools willing to make a change, the expense of rebranding public spaces, logos and the like can be cost prohibitive,” Mr. Greenblatt added. “School campuses should be places that actively work to build respectful, inclusive environments where diversity is valued. School nicknames and mascots that invoke stereotypes of Native Americans or any other groups that promote bigotry run counter to the efforts of educators to nurture welcoming campuses.”

ADL has published lesson plans and parent resources to help schools and the community grapple with the issue of the biased school mascots, and has signed on to a letter along with other community partners to support the National Congress on American Indians’ efforts to Change the Mascot.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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Jason Reynolds