Adidas is a sponsor of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, but the apparel company isn’t a fan of the name of the team RGIII plays for.
Adidas announced today that it is participating in the White House Tribal Nations Conference today, in support of high school mascot name changes. Adidas says it will help any high school that wants to get rid of a Native American team name or mascot by letting those schools work with the Adidas design team on new designs for team uniforms, and with financial help to offset the costs of new uniforms.
It’s a bold move for Adidas, which once counted RGIII as perhaps its highest-profile American athlete (back when Griffin was the NFL’s brightest young star, before he became a third-string quarterback and scout team safety). There are still a lot of American sports fans, maybe a majority of American sports fans, who are dead-set against changing team names and consider it political correctness run amok. Adidas is sure to alienate some of those fans with this move. But Adidas is also sure to appeal to the many fans who think Native American names should go.
There’s been no word from Griffin on how he feels about the issue.