Adidas offers to help schools change Native American mascots

Adidas offers to help schools change Native American mascots

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Adidas offers to help schools change Native American mascots

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Adidas announced Thursday that it is launching a program to help bring an end to “potentially harmful Native American imagery” in high school sports.

Westwood High School'd Willie Brown leaps int he air to catch a pass during Friday's high school football game against Marcos de Niza.

Westwood High School’d Willie Brown leaps int he air to catch a pass during Friday’s high school football game against Marcos de Niza.

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.


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.

Redskins slam Adidas’ Native American mascot initiative

Thunderbird quarterback Andy Wittenwyler is sacked by Notre Dame Prep's Kyle White in the fourth quarter on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 in Phoenix.

Thunderbird quarterback Andy Wittenwyler is sacked by Notre Dame Prep’s Kyle White in the fourth quarter on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 in Phoenix.

“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.

Native American imagery in Arizona high school sports

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.

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