Companies can no longer get away with performative allyship, especially adidas.
On Tuesday, following widespread uprisings sparked by the murder of George Floyd, the apparel giant pledged to donate $20 million to investment programs that support Black communities, among other measures, to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, CNN reports.
Internally, however, their gesture wasn’t enough.
According to FN, last Friday (June 5) a group of 13 staffers at adidas North America formed a coalition to completely restructure the organization in support of its Black team members. Now, the 13-person coalition now represents over 200 employees.
In a 32-page deck, titled “Our State of Emergency,” the document lists four major asks: invest in its Black employees, invest in the Black community, invest in the fight for racial justice and change for Black people, and demonstrate accountability.
A source close to the situation reports that every Black employee in adidas’ corporate offices allegedly refused to work until the internal issues were addressed.
Let's shine a light on the unity of Adidas black workers – a source tells me EVERY single black employee that works at adidas corporate refused to work until problems were addressed.
Now the company is donating $120 million and about 30% of new hires will be black or latinx. https://t.co/VeLcxHE32B
— Taylor Rooks (@TaylorRooks) June 10, 2020
By Wednesday (June 10), after an outpouring of criticism, adidas announced an additional $100 million investment — totaling $120 million — in Black communities over four years. They also commit to filling 30 percent of new U.S. positions with Black or Latinx people.
Also, adidas made a public statement to “own up to their silence.”
“First, we need to give credit where it’s long overdue: The success of adidas would be nothing without Black athletes, Black artists, Black employees, and Black consumers. Period,” the Twitter thread reads. “Remaining silent is not a neutral position when the people we should be standing with live in fear of police brutality due to systemic racism. With that in mind, it’s our people who we owe this to the most.”
— adidas (@adidas) June 10, 2020
The thread details the company’s plan for sustainable and longterm impact, including creating “a council of internal and external trusted partners and allies” to hold adidas accountable.
“This is our commitment to the Black community, and the world. We can change, and we will. This is just the start.”