Adidas announced Thursday that it is launching a program to help bring an end to “potentially harmful Native American imagery” in high school sports.
The apparel company has offered to help any school in America with a Native American logo or mascot change its team. Adidas will provide access to its team of designers and provide financial assistance to schools for new uniforms.
Adidas is set to attend Thursday’s Tribal Nations Conference at the White House.
Sports can change lives. We’re honored to visit the @WhiteHouse Tribal Nations Conference today to support high school mascot name changes.— adidas (@adidas) November 5, 2015
In the NFL, Washington’s use of the Redskins mascot has been a regular point of contention. In October, California banned the use of the Redskins mascot for public schools.
The controversy also exists in Arizona.
St. Johns High School in Apache County uses the Redskins nickname and mascot. In 2010, Tucson’s Pueblo Magnet voted on a new mascot after outcry from Native American groups.
“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,” Mark King, president of adidas Group North America, said in a statement.
“In many cities across our nation, the high school and its sports teams take center stage in the community and the mascot and team names become an everyday rallying cry.”
We have reached out to Valley schools and are awaiting comment.
Arizona public schools that would potentially qualify for this offer are:
– San Carlos Braves
– Nogales Apaches
– Thunderbird Chiefs
– St. Johns Redskins
– Tuba City Warriors
– Westwood Warriors
For more from The Heat Index, go to heatindex.azcentral.com.